Thursday, December 03, 2009

Links for 12/3/09

KC Johnson on how Minnesota
worries about people who exhibit a "denial of difference"---which is characterized by an "affective quality" that is "benign on the surface ('live and let live'), but potentially genocidal (!!) when pressed into cross-cultural contact." Such libertarian beliefs, the IDI report hilariously observes, might indicate "possible support for supremacist and hate groups."

Or there's the person determined to minimize difference---with "recognition and acceptance of superficial cultural differences such as eating customs, etc., while holding that all human beings are essentially the same." The "affective quality" of such people? "Insistently nice." (A new motto: "Come to the U of M: We produce mean teachers!") These inherently nice people, the IDI overview warns, are inclined toward "acceptance of institutionalized privilege"--- a definite no-no in any Education program.
Jack Stripling
In an effort to boost tuition revenues, a State University of New York campus lowered admissions and retention standards to admit unqualified – predominately black – applicants who had little chance of graduating, according to a lawsuit filed by a former dean.
Thomas J. Hickey, who filed the suit, says his removal as dean in July was retaliation for questioning financially-motivated academic policies that doomed students to failure…

Thomas Cronin, a physics professor… “The list of academically and morally corrupt practices that ensue from our inability to adhere to our own standards is rather long,” he wrote. “One of our worst offenses is that we admit, and re-admit students absolutely unqualified and absolutely incapable of achieving a college degree. Many go into debt or cause their families to go into debt into [sic] order to attempt a college degree. This is an absolutely corrupt practice and it may be criminal.
Andrew Samwick describes our last stimulus as
firing money out of a cannon while blindfolded (a.k.a. timely, targeted, and temporary)...

So what should our elected officials do about it today? Two things. First, begin to implement long-term infrastructure investments … Second, apologize for waiting two years and wasting hundreds of billions of dollars on the wrong ideas before getting around to doing what has been needed all along.

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