Category Archives: Education

Animal’s Daily Debt Cancelling News

“Cancelling” student debt is a stupid idea, and here’s a good explanation as to why.  Excerpt:

An unthinkable conundrum is our reality: the dumbest people in your high school class are now in political power, making the same thoughtless demands they made back when you thought it was just their hormones. 

“I don’t feel like paying my debts because it’s too hard,” is the summary of their I WANT FREE STUFF demand du jour. 

“OK, so who should pay your debts?” you ask. “That’s selfish and racist,” is the response. Seriously. 

This would all be a fantastical, hysterical story, if it were not real.

In anticipation of Biden’s looming presidency, leftists began organizing their FREE STUFF priority lists. On the top of many lists you will find cancellation of student loan debt and free healthcare. Where do they think the money will come from? Why, your wallet, of course! Biden is expected to raise taxes to pay for that “free” stuff. 

Never forget this: the understanding that they must take money from the working to pay for the debts of those not working (or not earning as much) — is in itself proof that they know “free” or “cancel” is a lie. There is no such thing as free because someone always pays for it, and leftists know this. That’s why they call to raise taxes “on the rich” — a puffed lie because it is not wealth that is taxed yearly, but earnings, income, work product. It is work that is taxed, not “wealth.” 

The article makes a good point; advocacy of “cancelling” student debt is a direct subsidy of Gender Studies degrees by plumbers, carpenters, car salesman and every other productive citizen in the country.  That’s bad enough to condemn the idea in and of itself, but the most important thing that makes this a bad idea is missed in the linked article:

Responsibility.

Every damn one of these mindless brats yelling to have their loans paid by someone else – make no mistake, that’s what they are asking for – signed a furshlugginer loan agreement, detailing terms of repayment, interest rates, conditions for forbearance, and so on.  It’s the law.   Now they want a mulligan.

What’s next?  Will they buy a new Mercedes, and demand to have their car loan forgiven with no consequences?  Their mortgage?  To hell with that.  As go any loans, so go student loans:  You signed.  You agreed to the terms.  You pay.  End of story.

Animal’s Daily Pinker Affair News

Before we start, make sure to catch the last installment of Ten Minutes over at Glibertarians.

I found this interesting:  Lessons of the Pinker Affair.  Excerpts, with my comments:

Earlier this summer, over 600 signatories signed an open letter to the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), denouncing Steven Pinker for “speaking over genuine grievances and downplaying injustices, frequently by misrepresenting facts, and at the exact moments when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism and for crucial changes.” I tweeted a link to the letter, and was glad to see my tweet gain traction as people were able to see the absurdity of the charges for themselves.

You can sum up the grievances of the 600 signatories as follows:  “RHHEEEEEE!”  None of these people should be taken seriously, as you’ll see.

Among the self-pity and neurosis, I did discern one argument that was actually interesting, and addressing it can tell us something about what has gone wrong with the academy.

As Kastner et al. point out, Steven Pinker is more prominent than anyone on the list. He proved in the aftermath of the affair that he was more than capable of defending himself. How, then, could he complain about a witch hunt carried out by a group that is mostly made up of graduate students and junior scholars? I received my PhD in 2018, and know that most graduate students do not feel particularly powerful. They have finished a four-year degree and are still making $20,000 a year, with years of additional study and postdocs ahead of them before they can have any hope of finding a job. If and when they do, they will have little control over where they live and make less money than a manager at Walmart. When they attack Steve Pinker, one of the most prominent public intellectuals of our time, grad students and junior scholars can understandably feel like they are actually speaking truth to power.

Note the careful wording of that last sentence:  “feel like they are actually speaking truth to power.”  In reality they aren’t speaking truth at all; it’s doubtful whether they have even a nodding acquaintance with truth.  As President Reagan said, “It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

What is it that distinguishes, then, cancellation campaigns that cause outrage (talking about sex differences, IQ, genetics) and those that do not (flat-Earthers, creationists)? As far as I can tell, the targets in the former cases are saying things that are scientifically valid, while those in the latter are saying things that are not. For many thoughtful people this is the hill to die on, not the abstract commitment to platforming all voices, a standard that virtually no one will ever live up to. As Tyler Cowen wrote in response to the Harper’s letter of earlier this year, in deciding who to invite to sign the document, “the organizers had to ‘restrict free speech’ in a manner not altogether different than what they are objecting to.” They were therefore not objecting to restrictions on speech when they complained about “cancel culture,” but something else.

The correct response to the cancellers is not simply to say that they should respect free speech. Rather, one must say to them that you are attacking people for stating things which are true, while you are stating things which are false. It does not matter which side of the debate is more prominent, or which side has more minorities and women. The identity politics view of the world fundamentally misunderstands reality, and people who respect truth should be on the side of whoever stands against it, whether a grad student is attacking a famous intellectual, or vice versa.

In other words, as the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

The Pinker Affair, as the linked article demonstrates, has keenly illustrated higher education’s increasing disconnect from reality.  While the purpose of education should be to produce young adults with marketable skills, instead many of our major universities have essentially become bullshit factories.

Defund them.  Disconnect government from education.  Make financing of college a private-sector affair, where said financing will be dependent on the odds of the education obtained producing a return on investment.  That one step alone will remove most, if not all, of the bullshit from academia.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

We didn’t go out after sage grouse.  Mrs. Animal had a couple of tight deadlines to make for her publishing business, I had plenty of work around here to do to advance getting this Colorado house ready to sell and, to be honest, I didn’t really feel like getting up early and driving up to North Park by myself.

Might could get after some pheasants.

But there is plenty more upland bird hunting to be done; the pheasant population on the eastern plains is doing reasonably well as I hear it, and there are always waterfowl to pick up out there along the South Platte.  So we’ll see.

I might even lease a goose pit for a morning or two.  The Hate Birds, the Birds That Hate may hate, but they also are better than fair eating.

Now then…

On To the Links!

A Medal of Honor is always something special.

In a decision just issued in County of Butler, et al. v. Governor Wolf, et al., Judge William Stickman, IV of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has ruled that “(1) the congregate gathering limits imposed by Defendants’ mitigation orders violate the right of assembly enshrined in the First Amendment; (2) that the stay-at-home and business closure components of Defendants’ orders violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; and (3) the business closure components of the Defendants’ orders violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”  A glimmer of hope?

Aww, dida po widdle baby getums widdle feewings hurt?

Speaking of which:  If the shoe fits, Queen Nancy.

School choice could be great for rural communities.  And urban communities.  And everywhere.  Hell, let’s just get government out of the business of education everywhere, at all levels.

Now this is a threat, especially given the violence and looting that’s been going on.  Note that this was 2018, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this kind of crap this year; in fact, I’ll be a bit surprised if both sides don’t do it.

Speaking of violence; two LA-area sheriff’s deputies were just shot from ambush.  And some protestors blocked the ER entrance where the officers were taken.  Honestly, at that point I wouldn’t have minded if officers opened fire.  This is the fruit of the “defund the cops” ranting.  Anyone still doubt that civil order is breaking down in our major cities?

Groper Joe’s campaign has been up to some shenanigans.  In other news, the sky is blue, water is wet and cake is fattening.

Round-Heels Kamala accidentally tells the truth.

Speaking of which, the Democrats may try a nuclear option to overturn the election.

Apparently folks have pissed off some orcas.

This Week’s Idiots:

Vanity Fair’s Eric Lutz is an idiot.

The Atlantic’s Ibram X. Kendi is an idiot.

Robert Reich is an idiot.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (Commie-MN) is an idiot.

The Nation’s Tom Engelhardt is an idiot.

Queen Nancy goes full-blown New Age loony-tunes.

And So:

No further comments; today I’ll leave you with the woman I believe to be one of the best, if not the best female vocalist alive today.  This is Mary Fahl, with a song based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (the actual story, not the idiotic Disney take.)  This is Ariel.  Enjoy.

Animal’s Hump Day News

Happy Hump Day!

So, last weekend, this happened.  This is about five miles from where I sit right now.  At what point does this shit stop being “protest” and start being armed insurrection?

People have been killed.  Cops have been attacked.  Businesses have been burned, people have lost properties and homes.  That asshole Jerry Nadler is calling it a “myth,” talking as usual out of his ass, but most folks know better.

This coming weekend, I think I’ll get the shotgun back out of the workshop, stuff some 00 buck in it and keep it in the bedroom.  Just in case.  I’m afraid it’s time for live ammo.  I sure hope I don’t need that shotgun, but if I do, I’m sure as hell going to have it close at hand.

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest:

On To the Links!

Newsweek?  Really?  Admitting that we had a good treatment for the Kung Flu all along?  They’re going against The Narrative!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

I suspect Colorado’s leftists underestimate Lauren Boebert at their peril.  This year’s Colorado CD3 race will be very interesting indeed.

Duck!

Duck!

Goose!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes, round 2.

File this under “Who gives a shit?”

No masks in Sweden.  Here’s why.

I’m not even religious, but boy howdy am I on this guy’s side.  I may not share his belief in God, but I sure as hell believe in the First Amendment.

More on that topic:  You’ve gotta love this guy.

Roger Simon on how the Left is setting themselves up to reap the whirlwind.

A good question, indeed.

Fuck.  You.

Kudos for the no-contact delivery!

This Week’s Idiots:

The Seattle City Council are (still) all idiots.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan is an idiot.

The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof is an idiot.

The English Department at Rutgers is staffed with idiots.

Groper Joe’s energy policy advisors are all idiots.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is an idiot.

And So:

It’s not easy to watch your country being torn apart.

Remember all the rioting, looting and burning when Barack Obama was President?  All the right-wing militias that attacked cops, set fires, threw explosives and vandalized public property?

Me either.

And if you think it’s bad now, wait until President Trump is re-elected this fall.

Here’s some peaceful scenery from the Great Land to take all our minds off the bad news.

Rule Five Berkeley Friday

This came out last week, but I needed a few days to properly digest it.  My reaction?  This is long overdue.  Excerpt:

The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution.

Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is. No discussion is permitted for non-black victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of non-black violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd.

For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

And speaking of George Floyd, here’s a reality check:

As a final point, our university and department has made multiple statements celebrating and eulogizing George Floyd. Floyd was a multiple felon who once held a pregnant black woman at gunpoint. He broke into her home with a gang of men and pointed a gun at her pregnant stomach. He terrorized the women in his community. He sired and abandoned multiple children, playing no part in their support or upbringing, failing one of the most basic tests of decency for a human being. He was a drug-addict and sometime drug-dealer, a swindler who preyed upon his honest and hard-working neighbors. And yet, the regents of UC and the historians of the UCB History department are celebrating this violent criminal, elevating his name to virtual sainthood. A man who hurt women. A man who hurt black women. With the full collaboration of the UCB history department, corporate America, most mainstream media outlets, and some of the wealthiest and most privileged opinion-shaping elites of the USA, he has become a culture hero, buried in a golden casket, his (recognized) family showered with gifts and praise.

Americans are being socially pressured into kneeling for this violent, abusive misogynist. A generation of black men are being coerced into identifying with George Floyd, the absolute worst specimen of our race and species. I’m ashamed of my department. I would say that I’m ashamed of both of you, but perhaps you agree with me, and are simply afraid, as I am, of the backlash of speaking the truth. It’s hard to know what kneeling means, when you have to kneel to keep your job.

Read the whole thing; it’s powerful stuff.

Unfortunately it will also be water off a duck’s back to the people at whom it is aimed.  The Left’s conquest of the legacy media and our educational institutions has been at least a couple of generations in the making, and it would take that long to undo if we started today.  And it won’t start today.  People on the political Right (and also minarchist libertarians, like me, who don’t quite fit on the generally accepted political spectrum) tend not to go into these fields, I suppose because we prefer honest work.

But holy shit, when did honesty stop being a virtue?  When did we start accepting liars as long as they advance a “cause?”  When did we start accepting blatant, transparent lies (Russian collusion!) as long as they advance The Side?

The article here linked concludes:

I condemn the manner of George Floyd’s death and join you in calling for greater police accountability and police reform. However, I will not pretend that George Floyd was anything other than a violent misogynist, a brutal man who met a predictably brutal end. I also want to protect the practice of history. Cleo is no grovelling handmaiden to politicians and corporations. Like us, she is free.

Not any more.  The PC mob has take over.  Cleo has been shackled, and we are all headed into dangerous times.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to The Other McCain, Pirate’s Cove, Bacon Time and Whores and Ale for the Rule Five links, and to our pals over at The Daley Gator for the blogroll link!

Townhall’s Derek Hunter had an interesting piece yesterday, but I think he missed a few salient points.  Selected excerpts, with my comments, follow:

Wouldn’t you think that, after generations of complaining about the “school to prison pipeline,” someone should look into the school part? If there’s really this pipeline feeding minority children into prisons, rather than letting people who’ve broken the law out of prison, maybe reform the institutions feeding them into prisons in the first place?

Of course, to do that you’d have to actually want to educate minority children so they could improve their lives on their own. With complete Democratic Party control for 50 to 60 years in most of these areas, you’d think that thought would have occurred to someone. It has, obviously, but it hasn’t resulted in action for some weird reason.

In fact, the best thing to happen to kids trapped in poor-performing schools – charter schools – are in the crosshairs of the Democratic Party; set for sacrifice on the altar of campaign contributions from teachers’ unions. The very same people who’ve failed to educate kids are sinking the lifeboats. Isn’t that a problem? Of course, it is.

Of course, there’s a far better solution than charter schools, although they are a step in the right direction.  But the end goal should be to eliminate government involvement in education altogether.  Eliminate government schools and the taxes that fund them, and let a thousand flowers bloom.  Will some parents choose to send their kids to substandard schools that teach hyper-PC liberal orthodoxy or religious nutballery over actual education in trades, arts and sciences?  Sure.  Will those kids have marketable skills once their education is complete?  Probably not.  Is it my responsibility to subsidize the mistakes of those parents?  No.

Solutions aren’t the Democrats’ objective. What does it say about a party that benefits more from the escalation of a problem than its solution? Again, I’m just asking questions. I would like to have a serious conversation, as I suspect many of you Democrats who mainly vote for Democrats because you’ve always voted for Democrats or you think Republicans are somehow the problem, would like to as well.

While I understand that Mr. Hunter is engaging in a bit of Socratic dialogue here, I can’t see the value in asking questions to which we already know the answers.  The fact that the political left, and statists in general, profit more from the escalation of a problem than its solution, is a feature, not a bug.  Both parties do it.  Both sides of the political spectrum engage in it, because, if you aren’t part of the solution, there’s big money to be made in prolonging the problem.

The people you are addressing don’t want a “conversation,” or a “dialogue,” Mr. Hunter, as I’m sure you know very well.  They want to lecture you, browbeat you, force you to submit; they have no compunction about using force, and they have no intention of allowing you to respond.  And if these people seize governmental control, then free discourse as we know it has ended.

Here’s a better answer:  Take a meat axe to the size and power of government.  Strip these assholes of their power.  We’re Americans, dammit; most of us are perfectly capable of managing our own lives.  And if an angry mob shows up on the street in front of our businesses, well, most of us know the answer to that as well.

Rule Five Sixth Annual Commencement Speech Friday

Thanks to The Daley Gator for linking up our fundraiser!  All of the help is appreciated more than we can say.

It’s that time of year again, when high school and college graduates all over the country are trying on caps and gowns and making post-graduation plans. Today, for the sixth year, I will present here my own carefully prepared commencement speech to those grads – presented here because there’s damn little chance of my being asked to deliver it in person to a group of impressionable yutes.

So, here it is. Enjoy.

“Graduates of the Class of 2020, let me be the first to extend to you my congratulations on this, your day of entry into reality.

For the last four years you have been working towards this goal, towards this day. That’s a good thing. One of the most important skills you will ever need, one of the most important ways to achieve success in the world into which you are about to enter, is the ability to formulate goals, to plan how to achieve those goals, and to see things through until you reach those goals. Today you’ve shown you can do that. Congratulations and good job.

Now, before you go out to enjoy the rest of this day, before you go out to celebrate this goal you have achieved, let me tell you a few harsh truths about the world you’re entering. I’m not going to give you any trigger warnings; if you can’t handle what I’m about to say, there’s damn little future for you out there in the real world, so cowboy up. Moments ago I congratulated you on your day of entry into reality, so to get you started off right, here is a hefty dose of reality for you.

In spite of what you may have been told during all your years of education, nobody owes you anything, and you aren’t special. Any perceived ‘need’ you may have does not entitle you to anything – most especially, not to one red cent of the product of anyone else’s effort. If any of your professors have told you that, then they are economic illiterates, moral frauds or outright charlatans.

Our wonderful Constitution, which has stood for well over two hundred years as the founding document of our Republic, guarantees you the opportunity to your pursuit of happiness. It does not require anyone to provide you the means to your happiness at their expense. You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You have no moral claim on anyone else’s productivity. Accept that fact and you are already one step ahead of most of your peers.

You are entitled to what you have earned through your own efforts, and not:

One.

Damn.

Thing.

More.

If you are accepting a degree today in LGBT Studies, or Women’s Studies, or any of the other assorted bullshit Underwater Dog Polishing degrees our universities crank out today, then you have my sympathies. You are the victim of a fraud perpetrated by our university system, a vicious and cynical fraud that has resulted in you spending a lot of money for no gain. But more importantly, you are the victim of your own poor judgement. You decided to pursue a useless degree, and now you’re stuck. Here is another harsh reality: You are responsible for your own situation. It’s not anybody else’s fault. Nobody else is responsible. You are.

Your university experience had one goal – producing a young adult with marketable skills, someone who can provide value to an employer and to the economy. In this your university has failed, and in choosing this degree, so did you. You have relegated yourself to uselessness in the workplace, and when a few years from now you are working as a barista or checkout clerk and crying over your six figures of student debt, remember what I said a few moments ago: You and you alone are responsible for your own life. You made a decision; now you get to deal with the consequences of that decision. Pull yourself up, look around at the other opportunities around you, and figure a way out of this mess your youthful indiscretion has landed you in.

But you still have one thing going for you. You have shown that you can set yourself a goal and achieve it. Do so now.

So, where do you go from here?

Because nobody owes you anything, including a living, one of the tasks ahead of you now is finding gainful employment. If you’re going to find employment, it will only be because you can demonstrate to the employer that you can provide value to him or her in excess of your costs of employment. Employment is an economic transaction. In any free market transaction, both parties have to realize a perceived gain in value or the transaction won’t happen. If a prospective employer doesn’t think you’re able to provide value to his/her business in excess of your cost of employment, which includes not only your salary but all the extra taxes, fees and other various government extortion that you never see in your pay stub – then they won’t hire you. So be able to present yourself as someone who can provide value, in whatever field you have been studying these last few years.

Once you have gained that employment, once you are in the workplace, remember these three rules for success:

Show up a little earlier than the other guy,
Work a little harder than the other guy,
Never pass up a chance to learn something new.

Words that should never pass your lips include such things as “that’s not my job,” and “I don’t have time for that.” Your reputation in the workplace should be, to put it bluntly, the one who can get shit done. Results matter. Be the one that the boss can count on. Be the one who brings things in on time. Be the one who finishes the job. Be the one that produces value and you will never have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.

Bear in mind also that you are entering the workforce as a tablua rasa as far as potential employers are concerned. You’re not going to leave these halls and be CEO of General Motors. You will be working in an entry level job, probably not making a lot of money, probably doing work your longer-term co-workers don’t want to do. Suck it up. There are no lousy jobs, only lousy people. Any work that produces value is worth doing. How do you know if your work is producing value? The answer to that is trivially easy: If someone is willing to pay you to do the work, then you are producing value. Bear in mind also that the job belongs to the employer, not to you, and if you don’t meet the employer’s expectations, someone else will.

How do you meet those expectations? Better yet, how do you exceed them? When you are doing that job, keep these things in mind:

Be known for your integrity. Don’t say anything you don’t believe and don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who means what you say and who delivers on your promises.

Be known for your reliability. Show up on time, every day, for every event. Show up on time for meetings. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who will always be there when you’re needed.

Be known for your responsibility. If you take on a task, finish it. If you commit to a timeline, meet it. If you accept responsibility for something, own it. It’s yours. Don’t expect anyone else to take care of it for you. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who, when put in charge, takes charge.

Be known for your dependability. Plan your tasks to bring them in on schedule. If that means long hours, work them. If that means working a Saturday, work it. Your employers and co-workers must know you as the person who can get the job done.

Success isn’t a mysterious thing. It’s not that elusive and it’s not even all that hard. I did it, and you can too, but it does involve one four-letter word:

Work.

Thomas Edison once said “people often fail to recognize opportunity when it knocks, because it usually shows up in overalls and looks like work.” At these commencement events it’s common to be told to follow your dreams, and that’s nice, flowery stuff, but in most cases nobody is going to pay you to follow your dreams. They will pay you to produce value, and that means work. Follow your dreams on your own time.

Finally, I will leave you all with some unsolicited advice:

All through your life, people will promise you things. Most of them won’t deliver. Many of those people will be people seeking political office, and many more of them will be people pushing some sort of supposed business opportunity. Some years ago the science fiction writer Robert Heinlein observed a fundamental law of the universe, which law is represented by the acronym TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Remember that; if someone offers you something for nothing, they are lying. If someone is offering you something at someone else’s expense, they are offering to commit theft on your behalf. The only moral answer to such offers is outright refusal.

There are only three types of economic transactions and only one of those – a free, unfettered, voluntary exchange of value – is morally acceptable. If a transaction is done by force, that is theft. If a transaction is done by deceit, that is fraud. Have no interaction with anyone who advocates either.

Accept responsibility for your own successes. Accept responsibility for your own failures. Learn from both. Rely on yourself. Rely on your own skills, your own abilities. Many other people will let you down, but you can always rely on yourself.

In her epic novel Atlas Shrugged, author Ayn Rand presents the protagonist, John Galt, describing his decision to solve society’s troubles by an epic act of creative destruction. He describes the ultimate moment of his decision process with two sentences, two sentences which I have found more inspiring than any long-winded ethical or political monologue ever delivered since the times of Plato and Aristotle. These words are the very essence of the self-directed man of achievement:

‘I saw what had to be done. I went out to do it.’

Those are good words to live by. Now, today, you graduates see what has to be done.

Go out and do it.

Thank you and good luck.”

If anyone was offended by anything contained in this hypothetical speech, too damn bad.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Goodbye, Blue Monday!

Thanks as always to Pirate’s Cove and Bacon Time for the Rule Five links!

It’s long been one of my pet peeves that we’ve become a “every kid should go to college” society.  Plenty of kids shouldn’t go to college.  Furthermore, there is still a need for skilled workers in our country:  Electricians, pipe-fitters, welders and so on.  A skilled welder can easily make a six-figure income nowadays, and we aren’t doing enough to encourage kids to go into the trades.

Now, Clinton crony Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) wants to block the use of GI Bill funds from use in obtaining just this kind of training.  Excerpt:

When veterans return home after serving our nation, they should be welcomed with open arms by their local communities who stand ready to help with reentry to civilian life. For many veterans, successful reentry hinges upon pursuing higher education, including at a career or vocational school.

Legislation recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL) will take these efforts a step further by removing the ability of veterans and active military to use their GI Bill or DOD tuition assistance at career and vocational schools.

These efforts are reflective of a disturbing pattern by some in Congress who have long shielded public and non-profit colleges from the same transparency mechanisms required of proprietary schools. It’s worth noting that Congresswoman Shalala previously served as President of the University of Miami, which is a school that would be excluded from her proposed legislation.

Currently the 90/10 rule, a federal student aid eligibility rule that requires proprietary schools to derive at least 10 percent of their revenues from sources other than federal aid, allows GI Bill benefits to be accounted for under that 10 percent. By counting the GI Bill against a school’s compliance with the 90/10 rule, this bill groups veterans in with all federal aid borrowers. But the GI bill is different. Veterans earned these benefits and should be able to use them how they choose. Such a drastic change would completely redefine the very nature of veterans benefits by considering them equivalent to federal subsidies.

What’s worse, this legislation has very serious potential to negatively impact nearly 260 career schools serving over 158,000 student veterans. This comes at a time when in 2018 alone, over 326,000 veterans were unemployed.

I think I turn out a pretty fair piece of prose, but I’m at a loss for words to describe just how stupid this is.

This bit of horse’s-assery puts barriers in the way of veterans leaving the service who are seeking a transition to a profitable civilian career.  If I read this right, one could use GI Bill money to obtain a four-year degree in Ethnic Underwater Dog-Polishing, but not a two-year Associate’s degree in computer networking or CNC machining.

Which one of those, I ask you, is more useful to the American economy?  Which one will yield a better career to the veteran student?  I think the answer is obvious.

Rep. Shalala aims to do our veterans a grave, shameful disservice.  She should be ashamed of herself.  Unfortunately, shame seems to be a commodity that is in short supply in the Imperial City these days.

Rule Five Divestment Friday

Here’s a story from last week that should be repeated hundreds of times a week:  Stupid college student makes stupid demands, professor rams the stupid demands down the stupid student’s throat.  (Original story sadly hidden behind a paywall.)  Excerpt:

Professor Andrew Parker of St John’s College at Oxford University is my new favorite person. The Times of London reports that a group of students wrote to Professor Parker to discuss demands being made by student protesters about fossil fuel divestment. His response wasn’t what they were expecting:

Two students at St John’s College wrote to Andrew Parker, the principal bursar, this week requesting a meeting to discuss the protesters’ demands, which are that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”. They say that the college, the richest in Oxford, has £8 million of its £551 million endowment fund invested in BP and Shell.

Professor Parker responded with a provocative offer. “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”

One of the students wrote back and said he would present the proposal but he didn’t think Parker was being appropriately serious. Professor Parker responded to that note saying, “You are right that I am being provocative but I am provoking some clear thinking, I hope. It is all too easy to request others to do things that carry no personal cost to yourself. The question is whether you and others are prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve the goals of environmental improvement (which I support as a goal).” The best part of the story is the response from the organizer of the protest:

Fergus Green, the organiser of the wider protest, who is studying for a master’s degree in physics and philosophy at Balliol College, said: “This is an inappropriate and flippant response by the bursar to what we were hoping would be a mature discussion. It’s January and it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the central heating.”

To the young Mr. Green (hah) I can only say this:

“You stupid, stupid boy.  This is not an inappropriate response; it is a perfectly appropriate response to your idiotic demand; flippant it is indeed, only because your childish, petulant whine deserves no more than that.

You have been shown up for what you are; a deluded, immature hypocrite.  Not only are you not willing to put your money where your mouth is – although I’m betting you are perfectly willing to put other people’s money where your mouth is – you are incapable past seeing past the end of your own nose.  Do you honestly think that heating and utilities are the only use to which petrochemicals are put?

Unless you are willing to continue being (rightly) viewed as a whiny little wanker, as they say on your side of the Atlantic, they you’d better be damn well prepared to give up more than your comfortably heated classroom.  You had damn well better give up your laptop and smartphone, too, as well as the electricity to power them.  That bus you rode to school today?  Forget it; get used to walking.  That bus is not only fueled by petrochemicals, the lion’s share of its construction, from tires to plastic body parts, are based on petrochemicals, as is the asphalt on the road it runs on.

The future you envision would include cold food (and damn little of it), cold houses, no university learning, no technology; it would be a cold, bleak existence of the sort most of humanity has known throughout the vast majority of human history.

Your professor was far more polite to you than you deserve.  Were you to have framed your ignorant, childish whine my way, my response to you would have been two-fold:

‘Demand in one hand, shit in the other, and see which hand fills up first,’ and ‘Fuck off, slaver!’

It’s sad to think the Brits are wasting a university “education” on this little wankstain.

Animal’s Daily Relative Intelligence News

Thanks as always to The Other McCain for the Rule Five links.

Meanwhile: Guess what!  2016 Trump supporters score significantly better than Clinton supporters on a battery of verbal ability and general science questions.  Excerpt:

On the verbal ability test (WORDSUM), not surprisingly the median number of vocabulary questions correct was the same for both Clinton and Trump supporters: 6 out of 10 words correct.  The mean verbal ability score for Trump supporters was 6.15 words correct, while the mean verbal ability score for Clinton supporters was 5.69 correct, a difference of nearly a half a question on a 10-question test.  This moderate difference is statistically significant at p<.0005.

Further, Trump supporters score significantly higher on verbal ability (6.15 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.70 correct), whereas Clinton supporters score significantly lower on verbal ability (5.69 correct) than the rest of the public combined (5.98 correct).

This should not be too surprising. On the 22 General Social Surveys using the verbal ability scale since 1974, for every single one, conservative Republicans score significantly higher than the rest of the public combined. As for Republicans overall, they score significantly higher in verbal ability than Democrats in all five decades, including for the 2010s combined.

And:

Testing the hypothesis that Trump supporters have greater science knowledge than those who supported Clinton in 2016, on six questions Trump supporters offer the correct answer significantly more often than Clinton supporters: those about lasers, radioactivity, viruses, the father’s contribution to the biological sex of the child (BOYORGRL), whether “according to astronomers” the universe began with a huge explosion (BIGBANG1), and that the earth goes around the sun and that it takes a year to do so (combined EARTHSUN and SOLARREV).

On one science knowledge question—whether the center of the earth is hot (HOTCORE)—the superior performance of Trump supporters over Clinton supporters is borderline significant (1-sided Fisher’s Exact Test p=.05-.10).

On two questions, the structure of atoms (ELECTRON) and continental drift (CONDRIFT), Trump supporters score slightly, but insignificantly, better than Clinton supporters. On none of these nine science questions do Trump supporters score worse than Clinton supporters.

When one compares Clinton supporters to the rest of the public combined, Clinton supporters perform significantly worse than the rest of the public on the same six science questions on which Trump supporters perform better than Clinton supporters.

Indeed, less than half of 2016 Clinton supporters (49.6%) are able to answer correctly both of two related questions: whether the earth goes around the sun or the sun goes around the earth (EARTHSUN) and whether that takes a day, a month, or a year (SOLARREV).  Remember these two questions are multiple choice! You would have a 50-50 chance of guessing correctly on the first part: whether the earth goes around the sun or vice versa. Sadly, the general public didn’t do hugely better than Clinton supporters, with only 57.1% (compared to 49.6%) knowing that the earth goes around the sun and that it takes a year to do so.

I’ve been chuckling about this ever since I read it.

It’s a common stance among, well, honestly, all kinds of people, to blithely assume someone is stupid because they disagree with you on any given issue.  I’ve always hated that outlook.  But go read this whole article; as someone whose livelihood depends on the dispassionate analysis of data and examination of objective evidence, it seems here that the methodology involved is pretty solid; 2016 Clinton supporters are significantly less well-informed than 2016 Trump supporters.

And the author admits upfront to having supported the 2016 Clinton candidacy.

While I have never done any methodological analysis of this issue, it seems to me that the big-city urban Left is particularly prone to this; they operate on the pro forma conclusion that the folks who choose to live in the rural/semi-rural regions of those deplorable fly-over states must do so because they’re a bunch of dumb rubes, crazy rednecks, and the like.  But the Old Man, who lived five miles from the paved road on a big patch of timber for much of his life, was one of the most intelligent men I’ve ever known; entirely through an addiction to reading, he could intelligently discuss the causes of, and the tactics and strategy of, the American Revolution and the Civil War.  He could also intelligently discuss cosmology, geology, paleoanthropology and a host of other topics.  He could quote Greek philosophers at some length, and improved my farm-country schooling considerably by insisting I read Plato and Aristotle while still in my early teens.  Add to that the fact that he was an artist of some renown in the upper Midwest, and had his own spot on a wall in the Iowa state Capitol where one of his paintings was on display from about 1968 to the mid Eighties.

No ignorant hillbilly there.

Now, the legacy media will ignore this article and it’s implications; it doesn’t fit The Narrative.  But that doesn’t make it any less true.