Friday, March 1, 2019

Civil war?


In America, talk turns to something unspoken for 150 years: Civil war 
(Washington Post)
     ...First came former U.S. attorney Joseph diGenova, a Fox News regular and ally of President Trump. “We are in a civil war,” he said. “The suggestion that there’s ever going to be civil discourse in this country for the foreseeable future is over. . . . It’s going to be total war.”
     The next day, Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican operative turned MSNBC commentator and Trump critic, played a clip of diGenova’s commentary on her show and agreed with him — although she placed the blame squarely on the president.
     Trump, she said, “greenlit a war in this country around race. And if you think about the most dangerous thing he’s done, that might be it.”
     With the report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reportedly nearly complete, impeachment talk in the air and the 2020 presidential election ramping up, fears that once existed only in fiction or the fevered dreams of conspiracy theorists have become a regular part of the political debate. These days, there’s talk of violence, mayhem and, increasingly, civil war.
     A tumultuous couple of weeks in American politics seem to have raised the rhetorical flourishes to a new level and also brought a troubling question to the surface: At what point does all the alarmist talk of civil war actually increase the prospect of violence, riots or domestic terrorism?
     Speaking to conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, diGenova summed up his best advice to friends: “I vote, and I buy guns. And that’s what you should do.”…. (continued)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

They're coming, you know



Study of American Democracy on Cal State Chopping Block
(Inside Higher Ed)
     Historians across the California State University System are voicing concerns about a new general education task force report that recommends halving the six-credit U.S. history and government requirement in place on most campuses.
     The university system says it hasn’t even formally received the faculty-led report yet and that it remains a mere set of ideas.
     Still, some professors worry that Cal State’s six-credit requirement has long been a target for those who see it as a barrier to completion.
     “Students here do a lot of work in U.S. history and government -- it’s a rigorous course of study, and we stand to lose that right now,” said Bridget Ford, professor of history at Cal State’s East Bay campus and a critic of the general education task force report. “We’re worried about what democracy in our state will look like without it.” …. [continued]


When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting on death row



We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety

We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varietiesPreserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you

What more can we do?


I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow I shall fight
For this land I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Victoria, 'toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria....
STEM Education Is Vital--but Not at the Expense of the Humanities
(Scientific American)
Politicians trying to dump humanities education will hobble our economy
By THE EDITORS on October 1, 2016

8-14: do you regret all the lying?

✅ Trump Encourages Racist Conspiracy Theory on Kamala Harris’s Eligibility to Be Vice President NYT ✅ Orange County Sees Overall Coronavirus...

Goals and Values and Twaddle

blather: long-winded talk with no real substance*
The whole concept of MSLOs [measurable student learning outcomes] as the latest fad in education is somewhat akin to the now discredited fad of the '90's, Total Quality Management, or TQM. Essentially, the ACCJC adopted MSLOs as the overarching basis for accrediting community colleges based on their faith in the theoretical treatises of a movement.... After repeated requests for research showing that such use of MSLOs is effective, none has been forthcoming from the ACCJC [accreditors]. Prior to large scale imposition of such a requirement at all institutions, research should be provided to establish that continuous monitoring of MSLOs has resulted in measurable improvements in student success at a given institution. No such research is forthcoming because there is none….
The Accountability Game…., Leon F. Marzillier (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, October, 2002)
In the summer of ’13, I offered a critique of the awkward verbiage by which the district and colleges explain their values, goals, and objectives —aka SOCCCD'S G&V (goals and values) blather.
I wrote a post each for the district, Saddleback College, and Irvine Valley College efforts. (See the links below.)
This verbiage—stated in terms of “values,” “missions,” “goals,” “visions,” and whatnot—is often badly written. It is sometimes embarrassingly trite.
It occasionally communicates something worthwhile.
No doubt you are familiar with the usual objections to jargon. Higher education, too, has its jargon—an irony, given typical college-level instruction in writing, which urges jargon eschewery.
Sure enough, SOCCCD G&V blather is riddled with jargon and with terms misused and abused. For instance, in the case of the district’s dubious blather, the so-called “vision” is actually a purpose. Why didn't they just call it that?
As one slogs through this prattle, one finds that "visions" tend to be awfully similar to “missions,” with which they are distinguished. The latter in turn are awfully similar to “goals,” which must be distinguished from “objectives.” But aren't goals and objectives pretty much the same thing?
These perverse word games will surely perplex or annoy anyone armed with a command of the English language. In fact, readers will be perplexed to the degree that they are thus armed. Illiterates, of course, will be untroubled.
Here's a simple point: the district and colleges’ G&V blather tends to eschew good, plain English in favor of technical terms and trendy words and phrases (i.e., it tends to be bullshitty and vague). Thus, one encounters such trendy terminological turds as “dynamic,” “diversity,” “student success,” and “student-centered.” Even meretricious neologisms such as ISLOs and “persistence rates” pop up, unexplained, undefended.
Does anyone see a transparency problem with all of this? Shouldn't the public, or at least the well educated public, be able to comprehend statements of the colleges' goals and values?
In the case of the district, to its credit, all it really seems to want to say is that it wants to teach well and it wants students to succeed. Admirable!
So why all the ugly, common-sense defying, buzzword-encrusted claptrap?

Districtular poppycock: our “vision” and our “mission” and our tolerance of twaddle - July 31, 2013

THEY BUZZ: Saddleback College's "Mission, Vision, and Values" - August 4, 2013

IVC’s vision, mission, and goals: nonsense on stilts - August 5, 2013

THE IRVINE VALLEY CHRONICLES: no ideas, just clichés & buzzwords - Sep 30, 2013

*From my Apple laptop's dictionary