April 12, 2012

Leftists hate history; students suffer

According to the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, 80% of seniors from fifty-five of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities (including Berkeley and UCLA) received a D or F when asked basic questions about American history like identifying the Gettysburg Address or recognizing fundamental constitutional principles.

This is shocking. 

Richard Kirk on Ethics has more on how Leftists Corrupt Academia and the UC System.

A lengthy document submitted last week by the California Association of Scholars (CAS) to the California Board of Regents offers compelling evidence that these incoming freshmen will be paying more money for a lower quality education that’s heavily corrupted by leftist activism.
The CAS report views the politicization of higher education as a major factor that’s fostered this state of affairs. After all, instructors besotted with ideology focus on indoctrination—not on dispensing a balanced portrait of complex issues and developing a student’s ability to critically evaluate competing perspectives.

In the words of the CAS study: “political activists tend to have a very different attitude to alternatives to their own convictions.” In their view competing beliefs “do not deserve sympathetic consideration, for they are at best wrong, at worst evil.”

What's most shocking is not the students' abysmal ignorance of American history. but the moral failure of the universities who have been given a great trust to pass on the legacy won for us by our ancestors.

Leftists hate history.  Anthony Esolen explains why in Progressive Inhumanity, Part Three: Hatred of the Past

I have long thought that the term "progressive" was a dodge, because no one could tell me exactly where we were supposed to be headed and why.

The progressive clamors for change with no goal in sight; change for change's  sake.

If we ask, "Change, for what?" we make the mistake of believing that our opponents retain a strong notion of human nature and of the moral laws that work towards its fulfillment. They do not. They therefore advocate change for its own sake; change, with perhaps an implicit trust that the change will eventually work towards some greater good, as if directed by social evolution, without their being able to specify exactly what that good would be.
To greet change for change's sake is, then, less to unite one's heart to the homeland ahead (since there is no homeland ahead), but to divorce one's heart from the homeland behind. It is to uproot man from that soil wherein he grows in time but towards eternity.
Am I being unfair to the progressive? The essential attitude of the progressive towards the past is that of contempt and hostility. What do we see in the past? A crime list of vices and stupidities.  It isn't just that we dwell upon the failings of our forebears and neglect to see their virtues. Very often we place upon our forebears the worst imaginable construction, or ascribe to them vices they did not possess and crimes they did not commit…The hostility is applied also to stupendous human works.
But what is left of a truly human life? The commitment to change is like a ride on a roller-coaster, with one important reservation. We can enjoy a roller-coaster ride because we know that it will soon end, and we can put our feet back on the trusty solid ground. Imagine, though, a roller-coaster ride that does not end. Imagine a ride that has all the inconveniences of a bad journey — frenetic pace, confusion, dislocation, loss — and none of the consolations: no end of the journey, nothing but death, which is not now like arriving at a destination, but is instead like being at last tossed out of the car.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:44 PM | Permalink

"The trembling that they want to inculcate falls flat"

Pascal Bruckner: The Ideology of Catastrophe

Over the last half-century, leftist intellectuals have identified two great scapegoats for the world's woes. First, Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. Second, "Third World" ideology, disappointed by the bourgeois indulgences of the working class, targeted the West, supposedly the inventor of slavery, colonialism and imperialism.

The guilty party that environmentalism now accuses—mankind itself, in its will to dominate the planet—is essentially a composite of the previous two, a capitalism invented by a West that oppresses peoples and destroys the Earth.
The fear that these intellectuals spread is like a gluttonous enzyme that swallows up an anxiety, feeds on it, and then leaves it behind for new ones…..We are inoculated against anxiety by the repetition of the same themes, which become a narcotic we can't do without.
Another result of the doomsayers' certainty is that their preaching, by inoculating us against the poison of terror, brings about petrification. The trembling that they want to inculcate falls flat. Anxiety has the last word. We were supposed to be alerted; instead, we are disarmed. This may even be the goal of the noisy panic: to dazzle us in order to make us docile. Instead of encouraging resistance, it propagates discouragement and despair. The ideology of catastrophe becomes an instrument of political and philosophical resignation.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:52 PM | Permalink

Push to Add Drama

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:44 PM | Permalink

Recovery Kitty

Anorexia is a terrible disease and one very hard to overcome.  So attention must be paid to this method that worked for one woman.

"Feeding up a bony stray cat saved me from anorexia': Woman who weighed the same as a 12-year-old reveals how she beat her eating disorder.

Aged 20, Ashley Ransley was severely anorexic, and despite her 6ft frame she weighed the same as a 12-year-old.

Doctors warned her she could have a heart attack at any moment as her body gradually shut down, and following years of failed treatments she resigned herself to a slow suicide.

But now the student from Fenton, Michigan, tips the scales at a healthy 1 1st albs and claims the experience of feeding up a malnourished cat helped her to overcome her long-term eating disorder.

Ashley, now 25, weighed just 7st 10lbs when she rescued the stray feline that had wandered onto her family’s property.

At first she thought it was a kitten because of it was so small, but vets later confirmed it was a fully grown female and extremely malnourished, weighing just three pounds. 

While she helped the little animal, which she named Riley, regain weight, Ashley found she was also able to heal herself of the mental illness that had blighted her since school.

 Ashley Ransley  Riley-The-Cat

She said: 'As I worked on rehabilitating her to a healthy weight, I was focusing less and less on my eating disorder.

I began to eat when she ate, share some of my food with her, and if I got anxious and wanted to purge or over-exercise, I would use her as a distraction.

'Both malnourished and slowly regaining our health, our connection grew to more than just pet-owner attachment.

'I didn’t really want to die, and I was getting better. I called her my recovery kitty.'
Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:19 PM | Permalink

Scientists revolt at NASA

Hansen and Schmidt of NASA GISS under fire for climate stance: Engineers, scientists, astronauts ask NASA administration to look at empirical evidence rather than climate models.

When Chris Kraft, the man who presided over NASA’s finest hour, and the engineering miracle of saving Apollo 13 speaks, people listen.
From the joint letter to NASA Administrator

49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden last week admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.
Select excerpts from the letter:
“The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.”

“We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.”

“We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”

Science is never settled when  scientists look to discover truth.  If someone says "the science is settled" they have forsaken truth to promote an agenda.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:53 PM | Permalink

The End of Women

Carolyn Moynihan on The End of Women

The great gift of the sexual revolution to women is not that it has taken them out of men’s power but that it has made them over as the new men. They can pursue their careers just like men. They can have sex without getting pregnant and having to get married, just like men. They can ignore the emotional consequences of uncommitted sex (“And how bad are heartaches, anyway?” asks Rosin) as men tend to do.

When the ache for a baby gets too strong, today’s macho woman can go get herself impregnated with donor sperm at a fertility clinic. And since there’s really no difference between men and women any more she could just settle down with a lesbian partner and save herself any further trouble from the officially male of the species.

The truth is that, if men have become redundant, so have women. One makes no sense without the other. What we have instead is humanoids who come in a range of genders and can make use of their sexual endowment (or someone else’s) in a variety of ways. They can generate or acquire children as the case may be; they can saddle the kids with two “moms” or two “dads” or with other combinations of “parents” if it suits them. What that means for the children simply doesn’t matter. Nothing that comes from the sexual revolution can really be bad for anyone. Get used to it.

Isn’t this the insane world we see taking shape before our eyes? There may have been a lot wrong with marriage and the status of women in the America of young Mrs Adrienne Conrad (Rich’s married name), but cutting sex adrift from babies and marriage was patently not the solution. It has made nonsense of the body and made men and women strangers to themselves.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:46 PM | Permalink

Montessori methods for patients with dementia

Here's a good idea.  Montessori methods could be used for patients with dementia.

Judith Potts writes It's time to give our elderly the sort of care we give our children

The Montessori method was originally designed for children with learning disabilities. Now it is a sought-after form of nursery education for children of all abilities. My own children attended one and I based my method of teaching drama on the muscle memory and five sense techniques. Seeing a reluctant child develop into one who is confident enough to use his or her imagination to create an imaginary object is truly magical. I am sure it would be the same working with dementia patients.

I can see how it would adapt for dementia patients – even those with severe dementia – because muscle memory still works for these patients, making repetition easy for them. Arranging flowers, sorting objects and singing songs are successful exercises that muscle memory holds. Using beautiful objects in a peaceful, warm and caring environment will enable some memory to be re-opened. Recognition skills can be re-established and enjoyment in successful task completion experienced again.
Tom and Karen Brenner are Montessori gerontologists, researchers, consultants, trainers and writers. They work with dementia patients – using the Montessori method – while also training others in the system.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:43 PM | Permalink