McDonald’s want ad demands bachelor’s degree, two years experience for cashier 1

Washington Examiner

With colleges producing more graduates, and youth unemployment at a sky-high 11.5 percent, even landing a job selling Big Macs is getting competitive.

Consider: A job opening at a Massachusetts McDonald’s restaurant for a full-time cashier requires one to two years experience and a bachelor’s degree.

“Get a weekly paycheck with a side order of food, folks and fun,” offered McDonalds.

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What is the Workshop? 2

by Rachel Haywire

The Cathedral is the new matrix. Anyone familiar with Mencius Moldbug is familiar with this fact. We are trapped, ideologically, by the academic institutions that tell us how to think. We are pressured, socially, to associate ourselves with meaningless causes that give us status points. Holding the most socially progressive viewpoint in the room is a valuable commodity here in the More…

Turning Our Schools Into Totalitarian Enclaves Reply

By John Whitehead

“Unfortunately, children do not organize, have no access to the media, and do not vote. They are relatively powerless to improve their own condition. Children need adults who will advocate for them.”

~ Professor David Elkind, Tufts University

Just as the 9/11 terrorist attacks created a watershed between the freedoms we enjoyed and our awareness of America’s vulnerability to attack, so the spate of school shootings over the past 10-plus years from Columbine to Newtown has drastically altered the way young people are perceived and treated, transforming them from innocent bystanders into both victims and culprits. Consequently, school officials, attempting to both protect and control young people, have adopted draconian zero tolerance policies, stringent security measures and cutting-edge technologies that have all but transformed the schools into quasi-prisons. More…

The Closing of the Doors of Innovation: The Corporate-Government Asphyxiation of Aaron Swartz 1

Codex Sarepticus on the life and death of a modern-day Prometheus.

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Several days ago, Lawrence Lessig, a friend and legal adviser for Aaron Swartz  released this statement regarding Aaron’s death (source):

(Some will say this is not the time. I disagree. This is the time when every mixed emotion needs to find voice.)

Since his arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer. He shared with me what went down and why, and I worked with him to get help. When my obligations to Harvard created a conflict that made it impossible for me to continue as a lawyer, I continued as a friend. Not a good enough friend, no doubt, but nothing was going to draw that friendship into doubt.

The billions of snippets of sadness and bewilderment spinning across the Net confirm who this amazing boy was to all of us. But as I’ve read these aches, there’s one strain I wish we could resist:

Please don’t pathologize this story.

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Ban Schools, Not Guns Reply

From Takimag.

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by Kathy Shaidle

I blame the Burning Schoolhouse.

Canadians are perversely proud that our most popular backyard firework is unavailable in the United States. More like a science-fair volcano than a proper pyrotechnic, the homely Burning Schoolhouse merely spews a two-foot flame that lasts half a minute if you’re lucky.

But every May Two-Four for generations, Canadian kids have cherished those measly 30 sacred seconds, indulging in socially sanctioned fantasies of third-degree carnage.

You won’t hear this from Michael Moore, but modern school shootings are a Canadian invention, too, and I don’t just mean 1989’s “Montreal Massacre.” Despite the absence of a so-called “gun culture,” we spawned the first Adam Lanzas back in the mid-1970s, getting a twenty-plus-year head start on Columbine.

Don’t be fooled by those low body counts circa 1975. Look at the number of wounded, too. In both instances—unlike most American school shootings in the 1970s—those Canucks were would-be spree killers, targeting more than just a hated teacher or classmate.

I’m only kidding about blaming a tacky once-a-year firecracker display, but in the wake of Sandy Hook, would-be reformers are deadly serious. From the gun grabbers to those who want to lock up loonies, they’re all foolishly looking for a solution through the wrong end of the telescope.

It’s obvious that the way to end school shootings is to forget about the “shootings” part and focus on the first word instead.

We need to abolish schools.

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Paul Gottfried’s Calm Despair Reply

By John Derbyshire

Gottfried, Paul. War and Democracy: Selected Essays 1975-2012. London; Arktos Media, Ltd., 2012.

The last time I saw Paul Gottfried was at the Mencken Club bash last November. At one point between lectures I passed him in a hallway having an animated conversation in French with some French visitors. A year or so before that, Paul and I were both speakers at Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s Property and Freedom Society conference in Bodrum, Turkey. Professor Hoppe’s attendees were disproportionately German and Austrian. Paul seemed to be doing most of his offstage conversing in German. A couple of years before that I committed, in an online column, some minor solecism with a technical term from Greek philosophy: Paul emailed in with a correction, including a full account of the etymology and Aristotelian usage of the offending term.

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The Fight Against the Total Surveillance State in Our Schools Reply

By John Whitehead

The battle playing out in San Antonio, Texas, over one student’s refusal to comply with a public school campaign to microchip students has nothing to do with security concerns and even less to do with academic priorities. What is driving this particular program, which requires students to carry “smart” identification cards embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking devices, is money, pure and simple – or to put it more bluntly, this program is yet another example of the nefarious collusion between government bureaucracy and corporate America, a way for government officials to dance to the tune of the corporate state, while unhesitatingly selling students to the highest bidder.

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Education and Agorism II: The Road Forward 2

by The Radical Reconstructor

In my last article I outlined some of the ways that statist ideology represents an obstacle to the agorist project- specifically in the realm of education. I argued that cultural obstacles obstruct heterodox action just as fully as the threat of state violence. Imprisonment, isolation from loved ones, solitary confinement, torture, gang rape, contraction of disease, etc. More…

Attack of the Killer Racist Peanuts 1

 Goad’s latest from TakiMag

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There is no longer a need for satire these days because the world ridicules itself. Modern American culture is a self-parody set on autopilot.

The latest round of nuttiness involves public education and peanut butter. The humble peanut, you see, has become politicized. It is now a “hate food.” The peanut defiantly blocks school entrances, standing in the way of a progressive putsch to enable American schoolchildren to become as physically and culturally hypersensitive as possible.

Two recent news stories—one involving a contraband peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich at an Arkansas school and the other revolving around a rotund, buffalo-faced Oregon grade-school principal who fingers peanut-butter sandwiches as emblems of “white privilege”—illustrate that our public schools are filled to the rafters with nuts who are severely allergic to reality.

In the peanut-sized town of Viola, Arkansas, a teacher confiscated a boy’s PB&J sandwich as if it was a hand grenade and sent a stern letter to the young lad’s parents explaining a school policy designed to protect a micro-minority of students afflicted with peanut allergies. This inflamed the passions of local pro-peanut parents, who launched a “School Nut Ban Discussion” group on Facebook. The kernel of the matter involves whether the “rights” of a tiny minority of peanut-averse children override those of the vast majority of kids who enjoy this high-protein, low-cost staple of the American diet.

Full disclosure: I grew up gorging on Gaucho peanut-butter cookiesFluffernutters, Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes, and my Aunt Berle’s nonpareil peanut-butter fudge. I still enjoy the occasional Southern-styled boiled peanut and nurse a mild-to-intense skepticism about “peanut allergies,” which were unheard-of during my beardless youth.

So when I hear that some children can now die merely from smelling peanuts and that adults are filing race-and-disability-discrimination lawsuits hinging on their skin color and peanut sensitivities, I wax somewhat peanut-defensive.

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Debt Collectors Cash In as Students Struggle to Repay Loans Reply

CNBC

At a protest last year at New York University, students called attention to their mounting debt by wearing T-shirts with the amount they owed scribbled across the front — $90,000, $75,000, $20,000.

 

Jupiterimages | Getty Images

On the sidelines was a business consultant for the debt collection industry with a different take.

“I couldn’t believe the accumulated wealth they represent — for our industry,” the consultant, Jerry Ashton, wrote in a column for a trade publication, InsideARM.com. “It was lip-smacking.”

Though Mr. Ashton says his column was meant to be ironic, it nonetheless highlighted undeniable truths: many borrowers are struggling to pay off their student loans, and the debt collection industry is cashing in.

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The Fall of the Culture of Mind Reply

From Promethea.org.

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Among those who think they comprise “the free world,” many speak well of keeping an open mind. In these lands many have spoken up over the centuries for a free exchange of ideas, and free speech. Modern, “Western” societies are defined in part by the adoption of such principles as fundaments. The more historically-minded have been inclined to appraise this celebrated, continuing tradition as a remarkable testament to modernity, to the triumph of Western values as vehicles of enlightenment. In those same countries of the West where progressive individuals once developed these principles with much deliberation, and envisioned these values so distinctly and firmly as to stamp them indelibly on Western thought for centuries, free ideas and free thought unquestionably remain worshipped icons of Progress today.

So, I should not be controversial at all to reiterate the above from a different angle: there are those who like the notion of the power and importance of ideas, and all the social preparations to trade them. Academic intellectuals in particular have reason to endorse such formulations professionally, to serve the reputation and impact of their own profession. But all intellectuals, in fact all who ever mull over ideas or tinker with them, have a reason: promoting grand perceptions of ideas flatters them through their pastime.

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Home Schooling on the Rise in New York City Reply

‘…for a growing number of local students, their classroom is their living room and their teacher is their mom or dad, as the number of parents choosing to home school — or even “unschool” their children — climbed to nearly 3,000 students, according to New York City Department of Education.’

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dnainfo.com
Farran Powell, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — For most students in New York City, the end of August means stocking up on school supplies, picking up uniforms or school clothes, and wondering who their new teachers and classmates will be.

But for a growing number of local students, their classroom is their living room and their teacher is their mom or dad, as the number of parents choosing to home school — or even “unschool” their children — climbed to nearly 3,000 students, according to New York City Department of Education.

Rina Crane, 38, who lives in Kingsbridge Heights with her husband Mark, a 49-year-old MTA train operator, decided to home school her daughter in 2010 after feeling dissatisfied with the public school in their neighborhood.

“She’s very bright and the teachers couldn’t give her extra work and had to just focus on the kids that were behind, ” Crane said of her 7-year-old daughter, who spent several weeks at P.S. 86 before her mom pulled her out. Crane had attended the same grade school as a child in the 1970s.

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Statistical Fallacio 1

Goad grapples with lies, damn lies, and statistics at  TakiMag.

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The email challenge came like a squirrel defiantly placing an acorn on its shoulder and daring me to knock it off: “respond to this damn article.”
The damn article was from Forbes, and I’ll be damned if the headline didn’t claim that Barack Obama was the “Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower.” The damn article came with a damn chart, which, at a second’s glance and with zero understanding of statistics, would seem to support the headline’s contention. Obama’s bar on the chart was far punier than the others, which, if you were born without a brain, would seem to suggest that he was, mais certainement, the “Smallest” spender.

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ACLU sues West Virginia school over single-sex classrooms Reply

rawstory.com
Eric W. Dolan

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against a middle school for allegedly violating the Constitution and federal law by segregating classes by sex.

Van Devender Middle School in West Virginia implemented a single-sex education program at the start of the 2010-2011 school year for all incoming sixth graders. Reading, math, social studies and science classes were all segregated by gender.

“Supporters of these programs make completely unfounded generalizations about boys and girls, but offer no proof that these strategies pay off academically,” said Sarah Rogers, staff attorney with the ACLU of West Virginia. “What has been proven, however, is that these programs foster stereotypes and hurt kids who don’t fit the idea of how a stereotypical boy or girl is supposed to learn and behave.”

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Reply

From CNN

The U.S. Justice Department seeks "meaningful negotiations" in 60 days to end what it calls constitutional violations at the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility in Meridian, Mississippi, or else a federal lawsuit will be filed. The Justice Department says officials have operated "a school-to-prison pipeline" that violates the constitutional rights of juveniles by incarcerating them for alleged school disciplinary infractions, some as minor as defiance.The U.S. Justice Department seeks “meaningful negotiations” in 60 days to end what it calls constitutional violations at the Lauderdale County Juvenile Detention Facility in Meridian, Mississippi, or else a federal lawsuit will be filed. The Justice Department says officials have operated “a school-to-prison pipeline” that violates the constitutional rights of juveniles by incarcerating them for alleged school disciplinary infractions, some as minor as defiance.
Lauderdale County juvenile facility
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. Justice Department accuses Lauderdale County of violating rights of pupils
  • Federal officials: Juveniles accused of school offenses are jailed, not given due process
  • African-Americans and children with disabilities are most affected
  • In 2010, the county settled a separate class-action suit and pledged juvenile justice reforms
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Enthymemetic Warfare: Or, Seeing the Fnords Reply

By Kevin Carson

In classical logic, the standard model of deductive reasoning is the syllogism. Most people are probably familiar with this example: All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

The enthymeme is an incomplete syllogism with one of the premises left implicit. In classical rhetoric, a speaker uses an enthymeme to appeal to the unstated shared assumptions of the audience. The unstated premise is an unexamined cultural assumption — frequently a prejudice — shared by the audience, which is left unstated because to state it might invite critical examination.

In a class society, the enthymeme takes on special importance. The ruling class ideology is conveyed by enthymemes embedded in all the messages with which the cultural reproduction apparatus — political speeches, the schools, the news media, entertainment — bombards us every day.

One of the most effective weapons we have, in our fight against the ruling class and its ideology, is to make explicit the unstated premises of the enthymemes in ruling class propaganda and expose them to critical examination.

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Inconsistency Quotient 2

by Daniel Acheampong

Two weeks back, the state of Texas sent convicted murderer Marvin Wilson on a KCI-addled one-way trip to oblivion. News of this came to my attention via the Huffington Post, which made a big how-to about the potassium-punctured perp’s IQ. Leading with the headline “Texas Puts Man with 61 IQ to Death”, HuffPo made mention of a variety of testimonies regarding Wilson’s intelligence…

The Supreme Court late in the afternoon rejected without comment… More…