Tag Archives: education

Republicans Consider Closing UNC Campuses

The new- I refuse to say “our”- Governor of NC, Pat McCrory, is shaping up to be the most anti-education Governor North Carolina has ever seen.

One of the things North Carolina is known for is its excellent, affordable public Universities.  McCrory and his GOP friends in the Legislature seem intent on destroying this…

Of course, Republicans barely try to hide how anti-education their programs are….They value ignorance much more highly as educated voters don’t vote Republican.  In fact, they count on ignorance….

And they seem determined to both show it and drive it in North Carolina….

And the NC Democrats can’t seem to run a campaign or get their acts together to oppose them….

Scary times in my adopted home State….

Jesse Helms would be proud of them….

From WRAL Raleigh:


Lawmakers are considering the possibility of eliminating one or two campuses in the University of North Carolina system, a top Senate budget-writer said Thursday.

Gov. Pat McCrory called for a $135 million cut in funding for the UNC system in the 2013-14 budget proposal he rolled out on Wednesday.

As lawmakers began reviewing the spending plan Thursday, Sen. Pete Brunstetter, R-Forsyth, co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he and his colleagues are more concerned about how money for higher education is spent than the actual size of the appropriation.

Lawmakers want to trim duplicative programs across UNC campuses, which Brunstetter said could reduce the overall system’s footprint.

“I think our members definitely envision that there could be some consolidation between campuses, and we might need to go from 16 down to 15, 14, something like that,” he said.

The university campuses in the system include UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, Fayetteville State University, East Carolina University, UNC-Greensboro, North Carolina A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University, the UNC School of the Arts, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Pembroke, Elizabeth City State University, Appalachian State University, UNC-Asheville and Western Carolina University.

Brunstetter didn’t elaborate on which campuses might close.

via UNC system could lose campuses :: WRAL.com.

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Filed under North Carolina, Politics

Richard III’s Remains Found

I’m fascinated by this story…

Once a History Major, always a History Major….

Another reason to pursue a Liberal Arts Education:  You find lots of strange things fascinating and never get bored!  You will also be really good at cocktail party conversations…

From Slate.com:

The bones found underneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, are “beyond reasonable doubt” those of King Richard III, experts at the University of Leicester announced today.

Richard III, as you might remember from the eponymous Shakespeare play, died in the last major battle of the War of the Roses in 1485, although his resting place remained largely a mystery. At least until now.

Why are the archaeologists so certain they’ve found their man? Well, for starters the skeleton’s wounds are consistent with accounts of the fight that killed the king. According to the New York Times, there were also other potential giveaways. The remains were of the right age—the king was 32 when he died—and showed signs of a diet rich in protein, something indicative of a privileged life at the time. There was also a curve to the spine consistent with scoliosis, said to give Richard his hunchback. Oh, and the bones were found at the exact spot that priest and historian John Rouse identified as the king’s final resting place way back in 1490.*

That was all well and good but not enough for a beyond-reasonable-doubt conclusion. That came only after experts got the results of a recent DNA test that showed samples taken from the skeleton matched up with those taken from two known descendants of the the House of Plantagenet, the royal family that ended its reign with Richard III’s death.

via Richard III remains: bones found under Leicester parking lot are confirmed as those of Richard III, according to DNA testing..

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NC Gov McCrory Takes on UNC- Wants to Focus Higher Ed Funding on Vocational Training, Not Liberal Arts

What an absolute ass….

My experience has been that the best leaders and managers have liberal arts educations.  It teaches you to think broadly, critically and to problem solve.  A Liberal Arts Education has longterm benefits besides making life much more interesting and enjoyable.

Vocational education teaches specific skills that can easily become redundant as the marketplace, automation and industry moves to different phases.  It’s a short term solution to immediate corporate hiring needs.

This fool may lead to my return to blogging on this site on a more regular basis….

From the News and Observer:


Gov. Pat McCrory said he would propose legislation to overhaul the way higher education is funded in North Carolina, putting the emphasis on job creation not liberal arts and taking specific aim at the state’s flagship university.

“I think some of the educational elite have taken over our education where we are offering courses that have no chance of getting people jobs,” McCrory told conservative talk show host Bill Bennett, the former education secretary for President Ronald Reagan, during an interview Tuesday morning.

McCrory echoed a crack the radio show host made at gender studies courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, a top tier public university. “That’s a subsidized course,” McCrory said, picking up the argument. “If you want to take gender studies that’s fine, go to a private school and take it. But I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a job.”

The Republican governor said he instructed his staff Monday to draft legislation that would change how much state money universities and community colleges receive “not based on how many butts in seats but how many of those butts can get jobs.”


McCrory wants to revamp higher ed funding — takes aim at UNC-Chapel Hill | newsobserver.com projects.


Filed under Education, North Carolina

Student Loan Vote: Republicans Block Bill To Extend Low Interest Rates

The GOP is so blatant in their contempt for the Middle Class- or anyone who isn’t part of the 1%….

Could it be more obvious they are only there to protect and help the wealthy and could not care less about the vast majority of Americans?

I can’t believe people who don’t make over a million dollars a year still vote for these guys….

It’s insane!

Their votes are killing the Middle Class and destroying our young people’s futures…

Education is the key to upward mobility, financial security and a fulfilling career- hopefully one that gives back to society.

From HuffingtonPost.com:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked a bill that would have frozen student loan interest rates before they are set to double on July 1.

In a partisan vote of 52 to 45, the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to begin debate on the Democratic bill. Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) was the lone Republican to vote “present.” A Snowe spokesman told The Huffington Post her vote was related to her practice of voting “present” on legislation that contains the potential or appearance of association with the private business activity of her husband.

The vote wasn’t much of a surprise: Republicans have been signaling they would filibuster the bill because of its cost offsets. Democrats would cover the $6 billion cost of keeping student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for another year by raising Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on certain high-earners. By contrast, Republicans have called for nixing a preventive health fund to pay for it.

Ultimately, the vote gives Democrats another chance to try to frame Republicans as favoring the wealthy over the middle class in the midst of intensifying election-year politicking.

via Student Loan Vote: Republicans Block Bill To Extend Low Interest Rates.

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Filed under Education, Elections, Politics

What’s Wrong with Education: Or How Education Kills Creativity

This video is brilliant in its summation of how Public Education developed and where it went wrong by focusing on testing and suppressing creativity and collaboration…

I also love how it takes on over-medication of children to make them malleable….

Thanks, to my friend Robert Ward, for posting this on Facebook where I originally saw it…

It’s about 11 minutes long, but it’s well worth watching, contemplating and discussing…..

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House GOP Classifies Pizza As A Vegetable

Who wrote this law?  Herman Cain?

I think after this, we can safely classify the House GOP Caucus as a vegetable.

I’ve seen some idiotic bills come out of the GOP Caucus.  I’ve seen some blatant bills where it’s obvious payback to campaign contributors and lobbyists.

This is an excellent example of both.

From ThinkProgress.org:

Earlier this year, the USDA made an attempt to bolster the nutrition guidelines for the federal school lunch program. Under the new guidelines, for instance, school lunches would be limited to one cup of starchy vegetables a week and the ability of schools to count tomato sauce on pizza towards their fruit and vegetables requirement would be scaled back. But House Republicans, in a new spending plan unveiled yesterday, have done away with those changes:

The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department’s proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. Some conservatives in Congress have called the push for healthier foods an overreach, saying the government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

According to a bill summary released by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, these provisions are meant to “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations.” What they will actually do is ensure that a steady flow of dollars continues toward certain favored food manufacturers, at the expense of children’s health.

“We are outraged that Congress is seriously considering language that would effectively categorize pizza as a vegetable in the school lunch program,” said Amy Dawson Taggart, the director of Mission: Readiness, a group advocating for healthier school lunches. “It doesn’t take an advanced degree in nutrition to call this a national disgrace.”

via House GOP Classifies Pizza As A Vegetable To ‘Prevent Overly Burdensome’ School Lunch Regulations | ThinkProgress.

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Filed under Food, Politics

My Southern Gothic Life: Chapter 60: Look Away, Dixieland

There is a new post up on my other blog….

Here are the intro paragraphs and a link to the full post:

Let me set the stage for the next few entries….

My college was Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.  At the time I attended school there it was an all-male college.

And for those of you with dirty minds, let me get this out of the way right now.  I never had sex with any of my fellow students- or professors- during the entire time I was an undergraduate.

I realize, only I could be a Gay man at an all male school and manage not to have sex.  I’m special that way.  I’ve always been really good at missing opportunities for sex.

And homosexuality was still “the love that dare not speak its name” back in those days.

I’ve since found out there were quite a few of us around-concurrent with, before and after me– and most were more adventurous than I.  I’ve also discovered it seems about 90% of the Gay Alumni seem to have been members of my old fraternity- at various times.  We’ve compared notes….

In any event….

How did I end up at Washington and Lee University?  I’ve asked myself that a hundred times and tried to remember…

More:   Chapter 60: Look Away, Dixieland | My Southern Gothic Life.

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Occupy Wall Street: Why?

If you are wondering what Occupy Wall Street stands for, Keith Olbermann reads their statement below…

Sounds good to me!

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Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Crisis Led Many to Occupy Wall St

The more I read about it, the more shocking the story becomes about student loan debt.

It is just disgraceful that young people have to start their lives drowning in debt incurred to get an education.  How can you expect them to be able to buy homes and cars and start families in this kind of situation?

I’m sorry, but we have to find some better way for young people to get their education- or re-look at the educational system.  Admittedly, many young people go to college who probably shouldn’t; we need to remind people we need plumbers and electricians as much- or more- than we need more lawyers and stock brokers.  And we need to support that balance by leveling the income gap.

The young people are smart enough to realize this, too.  Income inequality is the core issue here….

Now, it appears student loans are driving these kids to prostitution.  This is not the first article I’ve read on this….

Another way for the rich to exploit the young and poor…

The young man standing next to the “Jail Sallie Mae, Cancel All Student Loan Debt” sign in Liberty Plaza last night could very well end up in jail himself – not for protesting economic injustice and marching on Wall Street, but for doing sex work to pay off his student loans. “My loans are $1,300 a month,” he said. “My rent is $1,300 a month. My salary is $2,600 a month. You can see the problem. So I work as a prostitute for food and utilities.”

Though he works a day job in the tech sector, it’s not enough to get by. “But it could be worse,” he continued. “I could have to do sex work for all of it.”

With the Department of Education estimating that outstanding US student loan debt will soon exceed $1 trillion and job growth stalled, students face the very real prospect that there’s no way to ever pay back their debts. As of this May, new graduates are leaving college with an average of $22,900 in debt each, which, according to the Wall Street Journal, makes the class of 2011 the most indebted in history. They are members of a generation of students who knew taking out loans to finance a degree – or two – was a gamble on their own futures. As Lindsay Personett, a recent graduate from Oklahoma City University, put it at Wednesday’s solidarity march to support the Wall Street occupiers, “Kids are told to get this expensive degree and you’ll get a job. You end up owing too much and owning nothing.”

Wednesday also saw solidarity walk-outs to Occupy Wall Street from hundreds of students from the New School, New York University, Columbia University, and several CUNY campuses. According to CBS Local, 150 students walked out at Brooklyn College to join the tens of thousands in Foley Square and Liberty Plaza. The student walk-outs are part of a larger national walk-out action, supported by OccupyColleges.org, which spanned at least 100 campuses across the US. Their demands go beyond calls for “job creation.” They are questioning the convergence of interests in the education and financial systems that require them to take on soaring, unforgivable, high-interest debt in order to get an education.

via Sex Work to Pay Off College Loans? How the College Debt Racket Sucks Young People Dry — And Led Many to Occupy Wall St. | | AlterNet.

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Filed under Education, Jobs, Uncategorized

Protesters Against Wall Street

Very nice statement in today’s New York Times on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

At least one mainstream media outlet seems to be getting it….

Here is a brief excerpt and a link to the full article:


As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread from Lower Manhattan to Washington and other cities, the chattering classes keep complaining that the marchers lack a clear message and specific policy prescriptions. The message — and the solutions — should be obvious to anyone who has been paying attention since the economy went into a recession that continues to sock the middle class while the rich have recovered and prospered. The problem is that no one in Washington has been listening.

At this point, protest is the message: income inequality is grinding down that middle class, increasing the ranks of the poor, and threatening to create a permanent underclass of able, willing but jobless people. On one level, the protesters, most of them young, are giving voice to a generation of lost opportunity.

The jobless rate for college graduates under age 25 has averaged 9.6 percent over the past year; for young high school graduates, the average is 21.6 percent. Those figures do not reflect graduates who are working but in low-paying jobs that do not even require diplomas. Such poor prospects in the early years of a career portend a lifetime of diminished prospects and lower earnings — the very definition of downward mobility.

The protests, though, are more than a youth uprising. The protesters’ own problems are only one illustration of the ways in which the economy is not working for most Americans. They are exactly right when they say that the financial sector, with regulators and elected officials in collusion, inflated and profited from a credit bubble that burst, costing millions of Americans their jobs, incomes, savings and home equity. As the bad times have endured, Americans have also lost their belief in redress and recovery.


MORE:   Protesters Against Wall Street – NYTimes.com.

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