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American higher education evolves slowly but, every so often it becomes convulsed, enters the crisis mode and hundreds of millions are spent on newly created projects. Since WW II at least two such crises some six decades apart have occurred, and it is hard to imagine two more unlike events. The first was America’s response to the “backward” Soviet Union unexpectedly launching the world’s first orbiting satellite, Sputnik I on October 4th, 1957. Not only did this technological feat come as a shock given our past technological leadership, but we believed (erroneously) that the USSR now possessed nuclear-tipped Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could hit a defenseless America. The second upheaval is more recent, namely countless colleges and universities, including the most prestigious, spending tens of millions to promote diversity and inclusion which, in practice means recruiting and graduating more academically marginal minority students.

Begin with Sputnik. Though American intelligence agencies were aware of the Soviet rocket program, its sudden success pressed the national panic button with higher education being singled out for the harshest blame and it was now all hands-on-deck to catch up. The prospect of atomic annihilation did concentrate the mind. Military notables, including Admiral Hyman Rickover (who developed the nuclear- powered submarine) and a worried Congress demanded quick action and a committee of distinguished scientists were soon assembled. Panicky newspapers and magazines condemned America’s inability to match Russians brainpower. According to a Gallup Poll, 70 percent of Americans thought that American high-schoolers should work harder. Polls also reported a new-found infatuation with tough standards while the news media also relentlessly condemned the push for equality and making learning fun.

Congress quickly overcame historic resistance to meddling in education and in 1958 enacted the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) that allocated money to states to identify the intellectually gifted and counsel them to study science and mathematics. Student loan programs were established in some 1,200 colleges; 1,000 fellowships were awarded at 23 universities and 12 foreign language institutes were created. Some $33 million was spent on new scientific equipment. But, the centerpiece of this reaction was a heightened focus on brainpower as a national resource, not the pastime of a few oddball geeks. Absolutely nobody worried that super-charged science programs would “not look like America” or ignored the talents hidden in America’s under-privileged.

Tellingly, the mobilization of American science education top-to-bottom was assigned to scientists, not professors of education. Brainpower was even celebrated in the mass media—the popular TV program “the College Bowl” ran from 1959 to 1970 where predominantly white males, from top universities competed to be the smartest of the smart. To be sure, not every catch-the-Russians proposal succeeded (remember the “New Math” fiasco?), but the focus on the very best was indisputable. Nobody worried too much about Wernher von Braun’ s tainted Nazi past. A candidate who campaigned on the platform of saving America from the Commies by “investing” millions in students who could barely read would have been judged a dangerous pinko. Public discussions spoke of enlisting the “best minds,” “eminent men” or “best people” so as to restore the glories of American science.

Some six decades later American Universities are once more mobilizing to combat perceived threats, but it is hard to imagine two more dissimilar perils. We have moved from dreading nuclear-armed ICBM’s to obsessing over our lack of campus diversity.

It is again all hands-on deck. As an old folk saying would put it, the diversity mania is spreading faster than head lice at a daycare center. Columbia University has recently pledged to spend $100 million to enhance its diversity (its Medical School has committed $50 million to the quest). Not to be outdone, American University in Washington D.C. intends to spend $120 million for its diversification while similar multi-million-dollar commitments have also been made at Yale, Brown University, Harvard, New York University, Princeton, Amherst, Occidental and many, many more. Even the smallest financially troubled schools, including those with a sectarian mission, now find the money to fund a diversity bureaucracy.

This enterprise is obviously foolish, a form of mass hysteria though nobody seems inclined to challenge it, at least openly. Put it this way, if diversification is the cure, what is the disease? No doubt, every single American, regardless of ideology at the end of the 1950s understood what atomic bombs did and how they could be delivered by an unstoppable ICBM. Now imagine a 2017 poll asking respondents to complete the following sentence: “We need diversity in education because….” Picture a university president who insisted that a diverse student body would more quickly help find a cure for cancer? Are universities so flush with tuition and government handouts that they can afford the luxury of spending tens of millions to enroll students who require multiple remedial classes? What is to be accomplished by enrolling students in “Defining Whiteness” (an actual American University course) or teaching them “cultural competence” when American undergraduates often struggle with basics literacy and numeracy?

Most important, past failures are indisputable and surely known to every campus apparatchik over the age of forty. Since the late 1960s universities have struggled and failed to hire academically qualified minority professors and there is no reason to suppose that spending a few million more to the budget will, at long last, hit pay dirt. At most, the usual suspects will be rounded up and offered financially lucrative professorships in Department of Black Studies or the social sciences to teach race-related courses. Will coercing students to master the nuances of white privilege and identity, implicit racism, classism and ableism and all the rest help future citizens to function in an increasingly brown America?

ORDER IT NOW

Particularly bizarre is the pedagogical “philosophy” that assumes that the academic performance of struggling minority students can be boosted by focusing on the allegedly toxic traits of whites and the university’s traditional “too white” curriculum. Is there any scientific evidence that minority students with dismal SAT scores will master Organic Chemistry if white freshman are detoxified of racist stereotypes, trained to spot hostile microaggressions while their white or Asian instructors learn to suppress unconscious biases?

The catch-the-Russians effort that began in the late 50’s clearly succeeded. Millions of federal funds poured into universities and thanks to the creation of NASA, DARPA and all the rest, we quickly caught up and passed the Russians. Any visitor to a decent American university can see the triumph of Big Science: rows of government-financed building and laboratories, thriving programs in the STEM fields all dedicated to keeping America’s technological edge. Out of this little Sputnik panic has grown a mighty colossus.

Now, what about the diversity/inclusion upheaval? Will it, too, succeed, and create world-class higher education that “looks like America”? Yes and no. As we noted, if past efforts (and this would include similar Silicon Valley failures) are any guide, the odds of academic success are zero. Exorcizing white racism and white privilege while imposing draconian anti-hate speech codes, building safe spaces everywhere while adding trigger warnings to everything, all supervised by multicultural ideologues cannot possibly equalize academic outcomes. If diversification could be accomplished, it would have occurred decades ago. Nor will this urge subside since even cash-strapped schools will not pull the plug on this nonsense given the likelihood of violent reaction.

Nevertheless, there will be successes but me predict that diversity will arrive entirely in the form of Potemkin academic departments whose sole function is to provide ersatz diplomas and academic sinecures to those who cannot master the real thing. Ironically, a policy not all that different from long-standing programs targeting academically marginal athletes and the not too smart children of major donors. These diversity homelands will be administratively top-heavy departments where the giveaway is the designation “Studies.” Current examples include Black Studies, Political Studies, Women’s Studies, Disability Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Queer Studies and on and on. I’m sure additional ones are on the drawing boards.

These are ideological orthodox safe spaces for those who reject discovering knowledge in favor of exposing bias and malevolence associated with race, gender and class. Undergraduates will earn degrees in “Oppression Studies” while “Science Studies” scholars will author a paper on how Principles of Continuum Applied Mathematics (MIT 18.300) acts as a barrier to exclude people of color from STEM careers. Meanwhile undergraduates in Medical Studies might scrutinize the gender imbalance of cadavers used to teach anatomy.

Both upheavals will have benefited American higher education albeit in dramatically different ways. While thousands of university-based disproportionately white, male and Asian scientists currently flourish, their more heterogeneous colleagues in Schools of Social Justice will be safely off to the side going to and fro deconstructing Michelangelo or otherwise making America better. Peace will prevail.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Academia, Political Correctness 
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  1. Thanks for another excellent article by Weissberg, one of the truth-tellers of American education.

    His analogy of the two crises makes clear their contrast and rings true for one who has witnessed both. It also leaves one with a sense of foreboding about how big will be the impact of the current one. The long-lasting effects could be more terrible than he describes.

    Weissberg concludes with an imagined future in which the damage is separated, limited and even comical. However, dumbing down has already crossed from the soft fields into harder ones and seeped into many aspects of American life.

    Diversity-at-all-costs threatens to reverse the progress made during the first crisis.

  2. D. K. says:

    ***

    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo

    ***

    http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

  3. You can’t beat progress…although using a 4′ by 2′ may make you feel better.

  4. It’s at every level, from kindergarten through college.

    Fortunately, the federal debt, the unfunded pensions, the military over-reach abroad, the abandonment of the constitution at home and so forth are all going to carry this dead weight on the crest of, uh – never mind.

    It’s grim.

  5. ” Nevertheless, there will be successes but me predict that diversity will arrive entirely in the form of Potemkin academic departments whose sole function is to provide ersatz diplomas and academic sinecures to those who cannot master the real thing. ”

    In the Netherlands it is even worse, our representatives blocked that arithmetic, addition, substraction, division, etc., was included in examinations, in our public nation wide education system, because ‘otherwise they would not get a diploma’.
    If it is because of this that a building under construction collapsed, I wonder.
    The high tech enterprises in the Netherlands are desperately seeking competent staff.

  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It was way back in the 1980s when the first meeting of my graduate seminar had each of us recite his or her undergraduate major. “Afro-American Studies” said the black girl “Queer Studies” said the hefty, crew-cut female; then “Judaic Studies” next person “Latino Studies” and so on around the table until we got to one undisputably white male: “American Studies” he announced triumphantly. Or was it sheepishly? I forget now.

  7. Realist says:

    What acts as a barrier to exclude people of color from STEM careers…..is IQ

    • Replies: @anonymous
  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Ironically,” a retired professor who misplaces commas, misuses a question mark, and says “but me predict” is publicly fuming about the decline of American higher education. Nothing revelatory or insightful is presented. On this website, the forced whimsy of the whack-a-black, etc., penultimate paragraph would rate as a mediocre comment.

    Is Mr. Weissberg’s plugged book any better? I’m increasingly disinclined to find out.

  9. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Not much better at CPAC.

    Is this ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘girls will be girls’?

    https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/966790606562480128

  10. Ah those Russians. America can never just sit in their safe across the pond heaven. Always sneaking around inventing threats and enemies to challenge and make money from it. Fortunately for modern USA Soviet educational system was dismantled. I am afraid current successes are mostly due to momentum, cadres and foundation left from soviet past. It will be seen in 20-30 years if I am right or wrong but modern Russia system awfully looks like making sure population is kept dumb and entertained without being too smart and educated and shooting towards stars. Russian tv leaves nasty aftertaste hence I avoid watching both western and Russian tv. Capitalists are making sure people are dumbed down everywhere to milk them to the fullest. Current USA Russia tentions are boon for both Russia and American elites. It is common folk that will pay the bill as always. I miss my Soviet motherland. There were some issues but we were happy and proud and now Russian team goes to Olympics without Russian flag and nobody cares. Constant lies and smearing of the soviet history on tv and then wondering why Poles removing memorials of the soviet soldiers.

  11. Take a look at the “diversity” idiocy at what was once an ok blue collar university in Dayton, Ohio.

    http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2017/03/diversity-speak-animal-farm-at-wright.html

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  12. Randal says:

    Meanwhile, the new campaign is already bearing fruit:

    New York University issues public apology for ‘racially insensitive’ meal served during Black History Month

    New York University has issued a public apology and fired their director of food service after students pointed out the watermelon-flavoured water and collard greens the school was serving during Black History Month were racially insensitive.

    Awareness is increased, an obnoxious SJW has been rewarded at the cost of a few poor schmucks’ jobs, and yet another pathetic “apology” with no basis in reality has been issued.

    Who can claim all this is not strengthening America?

    College of Arts and Science sophomore Nia Harris noticed the offensive meal when she walked into Weinstein Passport Dining Hall – before alerting the deans of the school and NYU’s President Hamilton of the insensitive and “stereotypical” meal.
    ……
    John Beckman, a representative for NYU told The Independent that Aramark has since fired the employees involved in the incident.

    It would be nice to think that Nia Harris could be extracted from her cosy student life and forced to meet the children of the working joes and explain to them personally why suddenly they have no money in their household because they were scapegoated to suppress any potential adverse public relations reaction to a spurious manufactured “offence” that she whipped up to make herself feel important and powerful. I’m sure they would understand that their increased hardship is well merited, as a result of their mum’s or dad’s personal evil.

    It would also be nice to think that the US still had a political party that would represent the working man or woman in this situation, instead of inevitably backing the SJW.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @El Dato
    , @Rich
  13. Medvedev says:

    Columbia University has 8410 undergrads. If they hadn’t spent 100 million on diversity they could have given back $11,890 to every undergrad student (including Blacks). But who cares? Obviously diversity is more important and beneficial. Hey, it only takes 21 years for evil Whites and Asians to pay off their student debt .. enough time to repel their sins and dismantle privilege.
    And Blacks are too self-absorbed to actually notice that they would be better off without wasting money on diversity efforts. After all, many Blacks graduate with debt too and they wouldn’t mind getting $11,890 back.

    The standard repayment plan for federal student loans puts borrowers on a 10-year track to pay off their debt, but research has shown the average bachelor’s degree holder takes 21 years to pay off his or her loans.

    Don’t worry for our sinking education. Will import high-IQ Chinese, other East Asians, Indians, Russians, Nigerians etc to compensate for all the idiocy in higher education nowadays.

    • Replies: @Wayne
  14. Jason Liu says:

    Academia tends to attract infantilized minds and needs to be cleaned out every few decades, or it quickly becomes obsessed with stupid things.

    Shinzo Abe just did a semi-purge of Japanese academia without suffering any political consequences, so it’s perfectly doable even in a first world democracy.

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  15. Jason Liu says:

    Oh and for old folks who’ve been out of school a long time, a lot of these SJW courses are now mandatory in many colleges. You can’t graduate unless you take one or two. It’s like a cult in there.

  16. Randal says:
    @Jason Liu

    a lot of these SJW courses are now mandatory in many colleges. You can’t graduate unless you take one or two. It’s like a cult in there.

    The question is, how effective is this blatant political indoctrination?

  17. @Sergey Krieger

    I miss my Soviet motherland. There were some issues but we were happy and proud….

    You miss something in your imagination. The Soviet Motherland was a hole. No freedom, no chance at bettering yourself. just “They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work.”

    Yeah, there were a “few” issues.

  18. @Quartermaster

    It is probably your own imagination. It is how I felt and so all my relatives and friends. Your comment is utter bs.

  19. The most positive thing you can say about America’s colleges and universities is that they keep idiots out the work force where they pose real problems.

  20. @Quartermaster

    Now, if you are Russian you are damn fool and if you are not you better talk about what you know. Regarding they pretend to pay and we pretend to work. The meaning of this would become clear after 1992. People did work but were not paid at all. Regarding betterment, those who has no money have no chance in hell to get your betterment now while in ussr everybody could reach that betterment of yours if no a fool and had desire to learn. You forget about a lot of life most important things we had for pennies thanks to public funds and now they indeed pretend to pay while people have to work or else.

    • Replies: @RobinG
    , @Hibernian
  21. Joe Hide says:

    “Spreading faster than headlice at a daycare center” … Too funny! The article had great info but from that joke onward I really enjoyed it emotionally as well as intellectually. I’ve noticed that more talented conservative writers often have the gift of putting humor into articles. To my mind, if an author, except in tragic events, can’t put humor into their views, then they probably don’t have a good grasp on the absurdity of leftists.
    To Weissberg, keep it up!

  22. TheOldOne says:

    Sergey Krieger:

    May be time to murder a few more Kulaks; commie bastard!

  23. @anonymous

    “Ironically,” a retired professor who misplaces commas, misuses a question mark, and says “but me predict” is publicly fuming about the decline of American higher education. Nothing revelatory or insightful is presented. On this website, the forced whimsy of the whack-a-black, etc., penultimate paragraph would rate as a mediocre comment.

    What Bob Weissberg needs is to run his columns by a competent proofreader or editor before posting them online. Most of us are prone to typos and skipped words now and then, but rereading what one writes a couple times will do wonders to clean up one’s prose. As for Bob’s observations and wit, I always find them engaging and insightful.

    • Replies: @Randal
    , @Stan d Mute
  24. CanSpeccy says: • Website

    if diversification is the cure, what is the disease?

    Anyone who has to ask, is unlikely to have anything useful to say on the subject.

    Diversity means the destruction of homogeneity, which in the context of the American Empire, means the destruction of the European peoples, including America’s European-descended white majority.

    Another term for it is genocide.

    To be quite clear, here’s Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term “genocide”:

    … often [genocide] refers to a coordinated plan aimed at destruction of the essential foundations of the life of national groups so that these groups wither and die like plants that have suffered a blight. The end may be accomplished by the forced disintegration of political and social institutions, of the culture of the people, of their language, their national feelings and their religion. It may be accomplished by wiping out all basis of personal security, liberty, health and dignity. When these means fail the machine gun can always be utilized as a last resort. Genocide is directed against a national group as an entity and the attack on individuals is only secondary…

    As for the idiocy of the Yale and other former places of scholarship, they are crap now because they admitted a bureaucracy to rule the scholars. A largely government funded university that has ceased to be a self-governing community of scholars will inevitably become an institution for the brainwashing of the youth of the nation.

    A cure for the corruption of academia is simple: end the government funding.

    Effecting such a cure is impossible, however, since no government will give up the power to indoctrinate the people, which, in the West, is now the prime function of education from kindergarten to grad school.

    • Agree: Zumbuddi
    • Replies: @Joe Franklin
  25. AndrewR says:
    @Jason Liu

    I haven’t heard anything about this semi-purge. Have you any links?

    Regardless, Japan is significantly less pozzed than the US. Any attempt to clean out American academia would result in a much larger backlash than any American politician has the balls to stand up against.

    • Replies: @Jason Liu
    , @Russ
  26. AndrewR says:
    @Stephen Paul Foster

    I’m not sure why the text on your blog appears to be so big on my phone, and I don’t care enough to figure it out. Your writing seems interesting, if poorly proofread, but the massive text made me disinclined to read the whole post.

  27. Alden says:
    @Randal

    I remember when some black activists demanded that the school cafeterias serve more soul food as they called it and stop imposing Italian spaghetti and Whitey hamburgers on the black kids.

    • Replies: @Randal
  28. Randal says:
    @Laugh Track

    What Bob Weissberg needs is to run his columns by a competent proofreader or editor before posting them online. Most of us are prone to typos and skipped words now and then, but rereading what one writes a couple times will do wonders to clean up one’s prose.

    I’d definitely suggest the former as a general rule for anything intended for formal publication (as opposed to these below the line comments).

    No doubt some are better at it than others but I find that even with repeated rereading of one’s own writing there are bizarre typos and writing errors that slip through now and then. It’s as though one’s mind reads what it thinks ought to be there rather than what is actually there, some of the time, unless one applies very strong mental discipline and effort.

    A simple reread does catch many of them, of course.

  29. JustJeff says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    Бедный, несчастный совок

  30. Alden says:
    @Quartermaster

    Sergei lived through it. We Americans didn’t.

    • Replies: @byrresheim
  31. Randal says:
    @Alden

    Damned if we do, damned if we don’t…..

    Actually there must be a good chance the workers sacked to protect their bosses and NYU from any possible bad publicity are themselves black or Hispanic and, frankly, they are the ones I feel sympathy for in this case.

  32. TG says:

    Indeed.

    One is reminded that ‘diversity’ as such was invented only to provide cover for importing massive numbers of third world refugees in order to drive wages down and profits up. That doesn’t sound good, so to distract us from the numbers we talk about ‘diversity.’ But really it’s all cheap labor.

    The Universities also have a vested interest in ‘diversity’ in that it gives them an excuse to lower admissions standards, increase the numbers of students, and tuition dollars, and the salaries of senior administrators.

    I am faculty at a hard science department at a major US University. Lately I have encountered several ‘diversity’ students, at the hard-science graduate level, who have jaw-droppingly low levels of scientific and mathematical background. They don’t know about logarithms, or what a neuron is, or how to handle fractions… But these people aren’t without skills, it’s just that they have been trained to game the system. They are very good at acting attentive and nodding when you explain things to them, but you check later on and it’s obvious they don’t understand a thing… They can give smooth presentations reading the bullet points of a powerpoint, but cannot answer the simplest question about what they are presenting… they seek out easy graders, intimidate hard faculty etc. And the thing thing, these people will probably do well, as assistant deans of student life or whatever. At the same time, we have talented people mixed in… the system is incoherent. It’s no wonder that, more and more, the smart people are going into medicine and administration, and avoiding hard science and engineering. But then, we can just import all that technical stuff from China, so who cares…

    • Agree: Triumph104
    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  33. RobinG says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    QM is well known [and ignored] TROLL.

  34. @Jason Liu

    My daughter is enrolled in nursing studies at a community college in a town where we have our 2nd home. It’s what my wife insisted on as a condition for paying her way in school. Naturally, near the end of the 1st semester, some Higher Ed shills came around and gave a presentation to the students urging them to enroll at one of a few of the SJW infested colleges elsewhere for “advanced studies” that would supposedly help their careers.

    One of the colleges being promoted was UVA, Charlottesville… yes, THAT Charlottesville. My daughter was worried that her degree would be worthless unless she got it from an approved SJW shithole, just as the shills intended. It didn’t take much to convince her to stay where she is; a simple listing of what she would have to pay for rent and how large a student loan she would have to pay off settled her worries.

  35. @Sergey Krieger

    There actually were a few million issues. Or, come to think of it, not so few million issues.

    You seriously think Polish animosity is due to lies and smears?

    You really believe the visceral hatred found in Ukraine is due to hostile propaganda alone?

    It is well past time russians took a close look at their soviet past.

    • Replies: @Toby Keith
  36. @Alden

    Eastern Europe lived through it.

    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk
  37. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @TG

    these [diversity] people will probably do well, as assistant deans of student life or whatever.

    That’s why the university in its present incarnation is less and less a center for learning and the advancement of knowledge and more and more a boondoggle of unnecessary building construction, and consulting and software contracts. Academic bureaucrats with an inferiority complex (well justified) strive continually to insure that academics who speaks truth to bureaucratic power are humiliated and intimidated or else ousted. The result is what we have now. Universities that suppress free speech, teach bollocks about white privilege, while promoting gender equity and diversity at the expense of merit.

    The good news is that Harvard Professor, Clayton Christerson predicts that half of all American universities will be bankrupt within ten years. We should hope that the other half are bankrupt soon after.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  38. Truth says:
    @anonymous

    It’s a sad state of affairs, Bro.

  39. Truth says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    What airport are you near? I’ll send you an exiting flight schedule.

  40. @anonymous

    Predictably, you fail to make to actually refute any of the points the article makes, and offer up some grammar-nazi pearl clutching.

    You probably spent more time re-reading your own comment to make sure you didn’t make any of your own grammatical mistakes than you did reading the article itself.

  41. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Realist

    Uh…yeah. Duh! Pass the word on to the NYT editorial staff.

    • Replies: @Realist
  42. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @CanSpeccy

    Well, it’s a safe bet that Harvard won’t be one of ’em. Or Yale. Or Stanford. But watch all three and a few of the other elites cut the budgets of their liberal arts departments. Most liberal arts colleges are a total farce anyway, the “professors” having reached a level of unprecedented irrelevancy. What these colleges offer is accessible on-line, in any library, or in Barnes & Noble. So-called “higher education” should be limited to the really smart people i.e. those who aspire to STEM careers, medicine etc. The rest can benefit from a truly well rounded education that can be gotten at the high school level or at the level of a community college if, and ONLY if, we devout the time and effort to improving education K through 12 and–more importantly–encouraging a return to traditional family values. As to the latter proposal, well, like the old song had it “I can dream, can’t I”?

  43. @byrresheim

    It’s time the Poles and Ukrainians (and Balts) realize that Russia was the FIRST Captive Nation of Judeo-soviet terror.

  44. El Dato says:
    @Randal

    So it’s unacceptable to slurp on delectable watermelon for a whole month? What will happen if black awareness month is extended into black awareness semester, as it inevitably will be?

    Oh well, let’s have chinafood then.

    John Beckman, a representative for NYU told The Independent that Aramark has since fired the employees involved in the incident.

    This sounds like something for a no-win no-fee laywer.

    • Replies: @Randal
  45. Randal says:
    @El Dato

    This sounds like something for a no-win no-fee laywer.

    Definitely. Though it would be nice to have some political muscle on your side for that kind of thing.

    In my country a few decades back we used to have a party of the political left that was full of idiots, but at least used to stand up for working folk in these kinds of situations. I believe you might have had something like that in the US as well, once.

  46. Ok I will bite. There is plenty of apparent silliness regarding diversity. But then they was a lot of silliness in not assimilating the millions of blacks after the civil war.

    You cannot get any more intense a social engineering program than slavery, right down to programmed and random breeding and the subsequent policy of segregation whether official or more subtlety administered.

    If you intended to ensure that blacks remain separated from whites fine.

    But it was an incredibly dumb idea to prevent their integration into what it means to be a citizen – including ensuring their education. All of the caterwauling now should have been yesterday’s bite te bullet and make americans of the the only people who’s only real existence was that of the US – almost early blank states.

  47. AnonOne says:

    Are you serious? How many actual american citizens do you know who wake up each morning thrilled with everything being done by their government in their names and with their money? The little people in Russia didn’t have any more real choice than we have. How many of us keep voting for presidents who promise to end wars but never do? The evils of the Soviet government were visited on Russian citizens no less than others. Also, ethnic and political hatreds go back centuries over there. It’s just not the same in the US because we are a young country and we are much more secure in our borders.

  48. @byrresheim

    My wife lived through it.

    Retconning communists can bugger off.

    People over there are still climbing out of the pile of excrement that was shat on them by these three stooges:

  49. @anonymous

    I saw some of those typos as well and my grammar is in the sewer BUT I read thru the article and tried to focus on the message, which is a valid one.

    Many times I find that the spelling police show up as a form of distraction since they can’t argue the premise, they argue about the delivery from which it was received.

    • Replies: @Truth
  50. Wayne says:
    @Medvedev

    “Will” import…? We’ll import…

  51. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Excellent piece, but it misses or downplays one thing: That the post-modernist critical studies people are trying to change actual STEM education. Read this, closely and between the lines:

    https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2017/10/02/aau-reports-efforts-improve-science-teaching-research-universities

    Higher education is “now reaching a major tipping point,” Coleman added. “We cannot condone poor teaching of introductory STEM courses because we are trying to weed out the weaker students in the class or simply because a professor, department and/or institution fails to recognize and accept that there are, in fact, more effective ways to teach.”

    Every project site reported some improvement in student learning outcomes, according to the report. Degree of improvement varied, but “dramatic reductions in achievement gaps especially for women, underrepresented minorities and first-generation students” were observed in some sites. Reports of decreased D’s, F’s and withdrawals were common, as were increased persistence and success in subsequent courses.

    “Evidence-based” teaching means classes where there is evidence that more people pass, not where more poeple learn difficult material.

    Some of the tactics used are narrowing the subject matter to make it easier to learn, adding tutoring of various sorts to teach-to-the-test of the narrowed material. And grade-sharing, where group projects allow the weak students to get the grade earned by his smarter group mates.

    And the very nature of the course is being redefined. For instance, if you are studying engineering, you need to communicate with your co-workers, right? So every class needs to have projects where communication is graded. Heck, you need to communicate with other races, so throw in some race stuff. You also need to eat lunch while you’re doing engineering, so maybe some stuff about buying junk food. The excuses they can cook up to justify making classes easier are infinite.

    Traditionally, STEM has meant you get the textbook and figure it out, without spoon feeding. You ask questions of the professor or go to office hours if you need a little help. If you need a lot of help, you get clued in that it’s not for you and drop it. This is the way it should be. And the ability to be presented with a difficult, challenging, hard to define environment where you need to use your brain to chart a way through to succeeding in the class is part of the class. If Apollo 13 suddenly blows up and you and your fellow engineers are put in a room to save the astronauts, you won’t have any tutors to help you.

  52. Well, if you have a political right that has zero real interest in cultural issues, and thinks the only important thing is to defend free market capitalism from the evils of nationalism, then its hardly surprising that the liberal left is running riot in the universities.

    The attitude of the American right in the 1950s was to compromise with the left on economic matters, but stand your ground on other issues – the exact opposite approach of the modern right.

  53. Rich says:
    @Randal

    The very liberal 24 hour radio news station in NYC, WCBS-AM reported that the two fired employees were black. Hilarious. Now someone tell McDonald’s to get rid of those ethnically insensitive “Shamrock Shakes”.

  54. Ivy says:
    @Jason Liu

    Those mandatory SJW courses got sprung on many students and parents as they found out about course adjustments each year. As you’d expect, many decamped to other universities that still had some semblance of standards. It isn’t impossible for young people to find good schools but is becoming harder, and the higher tuition is just insult to injury.

  55. Truth says:
    @interesting

    Many times I find that the spelling police show up as a form of distraction since they can’t argue the premise, they argue about the delivery from which it was received.

    But Homie, the premise was…the decline of higher education. I think anonymous #, argued it quite succinctly.

    • Replies: @Randal
  56. AndrewR says:
    @Jason Liu

    I am very disappointed in the Japanese government. Cutting humanities and social science funding entirely is not good. Those are very important fields of study. I am not at all convinced that completely eliminating these departments from universities is the only way to stop the leftist rot. There surely are ways to promote ideological diversity and freedom of thought in these departments.

  57. @Laugh Track

    Most of us are prone to typos and skipped words now and then, but rereading what one writes a couple times will do wonders to clean up one’s prose.

    I find it very difficult to proof or edit myself, but have proofed and edited many others including authors whose name you’d know. In reading my own scribblings the problem appears to be that I know what I wanted to write and see that rather than omitted words (grammar and spelling are usually good from the start).

  58. @CanSpeccy

    Diversity means the destruction of homogeneity

    You need to review the Orwellian concept of double speak.

    Diversity and Inclusion are both double speak words.

    When employed by leftist and the US federal government, diversity is a collective of various protected class victim cults that demand and receive illicit federal group entitlements.

    Diversity victim cult people have a common designated enemy.

    Inclusion is the numerous illicit group entitlements that they demand and receive from the federal government.

    There’s plenty of material online for you to study to better understand the Orwellian concepts of Diversity and Inclusion:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=federal+diversity+inclusion&t=hf&ia=web

    • Replies: @CanSpeccy
  59. Randal says:
    @Truth

    But Homie, the premise was…the decline of higher education

    Higher education, not secondary school where children should be polishing their grammar and writing skills.

    Though admittedly that was before the left destroyed much of the effectiveness of our schools. Training in remedial grammar and other basic educational tools is pretty commonplace in higher education these days as a result. But that’s not what higher ed ought to be about.

    I think anonymous #, argued it quite succinctly.

    I think interesting was probably correct to imply that anonymous was motivated by dislike of the views expressed in the article and of the writer, and sought to slyly undermine it with irrelevant quibbles.

  60. @Anonymous

    Replace universities

    Replacement eschews government funding, makes great use of internet, employs local study centers and legitimizes itself through external, independent, competing test bodies.

  61. thor47 says:
    @Jason Liu

    Now that I am retired, I decide to return to the local university and pursue the English or history degree I interrupted many years ago. When I checked the required courses for both and saw how much feminist history, gender history, gender literature, you get the idea, I said, ” I couldn’t stand to sit in those classes and deal with that. “

  62. CanSpeccy says: • Website
    @Joe Franklin

    There’s plenty of material online for you to study to better understand the Orwellian concepts of Diversity and Inclusion:

    As a matter of fact, I read and understood Orwell probably before you were born.

    The big issue, which seems to have escaped your attention, is not what diversity is supposed to mean according to the idiots pushing it, but what pushing diversity is supposed to achieve in the minds of those who pull the strings of the idiots pushing it. That’s what I was talking about: the destruction of the Western nation states, which are the chief obstacle to global rule by the money power.

    But keep reading. Orwell is good, but knowing real history, philosophy, and economics is also necessary, if you want to understand what’s going on.

  63. “Nobody worried to much about Wernher von Braun’s tainted Nazi past.”

    Operation Paperclip. When the Nazis sent us their best scientists, engineers, and psychological warfare specialists. They did a fine job of infiltrating the post war U.S. national security sector and spying for the Fourth Reich.

    “Potemkin academic departments whose sole function is to provide ersatz diplomas and academic sinecures to those who cannot master the real thing.”

    All this effort and energy to placate the 13% of the population that hates Whitey.

  64. @anonymous

    “… the forced whimsy of the whack-a-black, ect. …”

    Virtue signaled! You have proven your woke credentials. Congratulations on your moral superiority.

  65. Hibernian says:
    @Sergey Krieger

    So the Soviets practiced British Labor Party style socialism? During what time frame did this occur?

  66. Russ says:
    @AndrewR

    ” Any attempt to clean out American academia would result in a much larger backlash than any American politician has the balls to stand up against.”

    Methinks the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania has balls that amply meet the size criterion, and probably the intentions as well. Absent, however, is a sufficiently high priority, what with immigration and Obamacare and now the Broward Coward et al sucking every minute out of every hour of every working day.

  67. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    I find it odd that some of you feel the need to defend the author by turning me into an ideological enemy with hidden motives. My comment (#17) to Mr. Weissberg’s 10/27/17 column, in which he suggested that football players kneeling during the presentation of the national anthem should be sent to Africa, may help some of you better understand my annoyance with his recent writing for this website:

    “I used to feel that I was learning from him, and still agree with Mr. Weissberg about the delusional racialism embodied in the football players, Confederate statue removers, et al. But he recently seems to be mailing it in, and some of his columns strike me (and apparently commenter utu) as the other blade of the scissors that keep Americans divided.

    Here, he has stapled onto this month’s Defining Issue of the Decade several paragraphs of bad news about Africa. But if things were peachy over there, Mr. Weissberg’s “knelling” football players would still be just as wrong here. Wouldn’t they? That needn’t be addressed if the only point is to whack-a-black and tee up the predictable comments.

    Substance aside, the frequent typos and other technical errors are annoying. Establishmentarians seize on that stuff to prevent themselves and others from thinking critically and to discredit publications like UR. If nothing else, Mr. Weissberg should try harder or ask for editorial assistance.”

    I do admit to having since become even less enthused, as reflected in other comments about Mr. Weissberg’s subsequent work. Any honest, discerning reader of English should concede that his writing is mediocre, and that he’s an especially clunky humorist. As far as the substance, Mr. Weissberg offers little of value to the readership, microwaving the same pizza for those that like being told that they’re better than black people.

    If Bob’s your uncle, tough.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  68. Che Guava says:

    Sergey,

    I cared, think that the treatment of Russia at Pyeonchang was disgusting, it would not surprise me if the IOC and U.S.A and Japanese govts try the same trick in two years and a few months time.

    So, I was watching almost nothing.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
  69. Che Guava says:

    Despite the few typos, excusable, he was probably posting from a mobile device, I fully agree with Prof. or Dr. Weissberg.

    Some of us have an education under brightness to start with and hard study.

    Some have a mind full of cheap propaganda from xxx studies, and being able to submit garbage for a passing or better grade, while starting from the mental state of a cretin. So, they can eventually parrot certain phrases, but outside those, thanks to the system serving their desires rather than their intellectual needs, they graduate as morons, with a very limited vocab.

    It is all a bad joke.

  70. Che Guava says:
    @anonymous

    So you are in, or have a bulishit degree witih no value? Evident from your comment.

  71. @Che Guava

    I thought it was extremely accommodating. Two years before Sochi, Putin purged the ministry of sports, a known nest of corruption and appointed a new head. The head was threatened with the sack if Russia did not get a record number of medals at Sochi (threats are unusual for Putin). Well, the infrastructure of corruption remained.

    • Replies: @Che Guava
  72. Che Guava says:
    @Philip Owen

    Philip,

    I don’t care very much.

    Your ‘I thought it was in extremely good faith’ is just garbanzola.

    Watched a very little curling, some men’s snowboard half-pipe, some women’s ski jump, a little women’s figure skating, and the roundup of Japan’s performances on a news show.

    That last was disgusting because just about all who did not get medals were in tears. Pathetic.

    Essentially random. I would have liked to have seen the men’s ice hockey final, men’s moguls, more of the figures, live, otherwise, meh.

    You don’t seem stupid, you eventually will come to see that the modern Olympics as a whole of now is stupid .

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