Pentagon training manual: white males have unfair advantages

White males have an unfair advantage over other races and perpetuated a culture where racism and sexism thrive, according to a defense training manual used by the U.S. military and obtained by Fox News.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

Forget the apologies — fire Sebelius and delay ObamaCare

Apologies from HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and former IRS attorney Lois Lerner are meaningless without accountability.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

Tocqueville on the Individualist Roots of Progressivism

A friend once described conservatives as people who agreed about one important thing—that at some point in the past, something went terribly wrong. After that, conservatives splinter into untold numbers of camps, since they disagree ferociously about the date of the catastrophe.

Most conservatives today agree that America has taken a terrible turn—that something went wrong at some point in the past. Most believe that America was well-founded by the Framers of the Constitution, but that something bad happened that corrupted the sound basis of the Founding. A few—generally unpopular—believe that Lincoln is to blame, that he introduced the beginnings of centralized State and the imperial Presidency. Many point to the catastrophe of the 1960s as the main source of current woes (a striking number of these constitute the neoconservative faction). But, at least in the circles in which I travel, an increasing number have settled on the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th-century as the source of today’s troubles, and see President Obama as the direct inheritor of this philosophical and political movement that was born in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.

The dominant narrative about the rise of Progressivism, both in the halls of academe and its distillation in the popular media expressed by figures such as Glenn Beck, is that Progressivism was a virus that was incubated in a foreign (particularly German) laboratory and was transported to America by intellectual elites, often educated at German universities and influenced by thinkers such as Kant and Hegel (such intellectuals include the likes of Herbert Croly, Woodrow Wilson, and John Dewey). These Progressives despised the classical liberal philosophy of the Founding, and sought either an explicit rejection of the Constitution or an effective change by re-defining it as a “living” document.

This is a plausible case – and, the fact is that major progressive figures turned often to German and other foreign sources in developing their intellectual critique of the classical liberal philosophy of the Founding. Thus, by attributing the rise of Progressivism to a foreign contagion, it can be comfortably maintained that the Founding was good and true and was corrupted by a fifth column.

However, what this argument overlooks is that the greatest analysis of American democracy—Democracy in America, published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840, a full half-century before the flowering of Progressivism—already perceived the seeds of Progressivism’s major tenets already embedded in the basic features and attributes of liberal democracy as established at the Founding. Of particular note, while the major figures of Progressivism would directly attack classical liberalism, Tocqueville discerned that Progressivism arose not in spite of the classical liberal tradition, but because of its main emphasis upon, and cultivation of, individualism.

Individualism is a distinctive phenomenon arising in liberal democracy, notes Tocqueville. The idea of the individual is at least as old as Christianity, but individualism is a new experience of self that arises with the passing of the experience of embeddedness in a familial, social, religious, generational, and cultural setting that is largely fixed and unchanging—the basic features of an …read more

Via: American Conservative

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

Spying on the president — Obama, Merkel and the NSA

When German Chancellor Angela Merkel celebrated the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Berlin in 2008, she could not have imagined that she was blessing the workplace for the largest and most effective gaggle of American spies anywhere outside of the U.S.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

Does the Lexile Program Measure Up?

The MetaMetrics corporation has created a book difficulty measurement device, called the Lexile system. It purports to rate books based on their difficulty level—but readers who study their grading system find it faulty. Mark Mitchell at Front Porch Republic and The New Republic contributor Blaine Greteman both criticize the program, both on a practical and philosophical level. Greteman writes,

On my way to work I pass the House on Van Buren Street where Kurt Vonnegut began Slaughterhouse Five—but with a score of only 870, this book is only a fourth-grade read. By these standards Mr. Popper’s Penguins (weighing in at a respectable 910) is deemed more complex … many of the smartest and best have learned the Lexile model too well. They’ve long been rewarded for getting “the point” of language that makes “a parade of its complexity,” and they’ve not been shown that our capacity to manage ambiguity without reducing it enables us to be thinkers rather than mere ideologues. It’s this kind of thinking that makes us “humans” rather than mere “machines.”

They are right. The Lexile measure is quite faulty in its analysis of books. Oftentimes, its ratings do not make sense. But that does not mean the entire concept of the measurement is wrong. It has some limited uses that may be developed with time. Having used the program recently for report research, I have observed a few of the Lexile system’s benefits and drawbacks. It is important to note, at the outset, that Lexile doesn’t even attempt to measure the content of books. The website explains:

A Lexile text measure is based on the semantic and syntactic elements of a text. Many other factors affect the relationship between a reader and a book, including its content, the age and interests of the reader, and the design of the actual book. The Lexile text measure is a good starting point in the book-selection process, with these other factors then being considered.

Thus, the creators themselves note that the Lexile sytem is not all sufficient. It is merely a starting point. Lexile measurements will never be fully objective. They only measure the outward difficulty of things. They cannot truly measure content. Teachers who base their entire curriculum off of Lexile scores will be sorely disappointed.

That being said, the Lexile system could be a useful tool in comparing the rigor of various curricula. It most definitely should not be the sole measurement of books’ usefulness for a class, but if a teacher wants to determine which curricula might be more challenging for students, the Lexile measures offer a preliminary framework for comparing works. The Lexile system’s website has a search engine to find books’ Lexile scores. This could help parents who want to buy books for grammar-challenged kids.

Greteman says that the “Lexile scoring is the intellectual equivalent of a thermometer: perfect for cooking turkeys, but not for encouraging moral growth.” She is right. But cooking a turkey takes more than a thermometer. The ability to pick the perfect herbs, spice rub, stuffing, …read more

Via: American Conservative

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

What really frightens me about Halloween

My leeriness of celebrating Halloween has absolutely nothing to do with religion, safety, sexualization of young girls or health, although those may be valid concerns. The reason is much more subtle.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

How to immunize our kids against Obama's victim mentality

It is time to immunize our sons and daughters against President Obama’s psychologically toxic rhetoric, which has the capacity to destroy the self-esteem of a generation of young people.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.

What Democrats need to ask Secretary Sebelius about ObamaCare

For Democrats when questioning HHS Secretary Sebelius the challenge is that they need to find out not what went wrong, but how to make it right.

…read more

Via: Fox Opines

    

Invalid XML: 410 Gone Gone The requested resource/onca/xml is no longer available on this server and there is no forwarding address. Please remove all references to this resource.