Common Core: The Bluest Eye Debate

I’m coming late to the discussion about the inclusion of Toni Morrison’s novella Bluest Eye on high school reading lists (it is a popular choice for high school and college English classes as well as women’s studies classes, and this popularity predates the relatively new Common Core standards debates).  Some activists who became aware of the Toni Morrison book through their opposition to Common Core are arguing that Bluest Eye endorses child molestation because the book contains a character who is a molester speaking in the first person, and Morrison herself has made comments to the effect that she is trying to get readers to see his point of view, comments that are being taken out of context and misconstrued.  Incidentally, the book is also extremely graphic, more graphic than many people who are weighing in to defend it seem to be aware of — I suspect many of them didn’t actually read the book.

I don’t think The Bluest Eye is in any way an endorsement of pedophilia.  But I also don’t think that it, and other “problem story” books like it, are appropriate for literature classes — nor that they are put on the curriculum for their qualities as literature in the first place.  We’ve turned English and literature classes (excuse me, language arts) into social problem encounter sessions — sessions that often devolve into narcissistic competitions between varying claims of victimization. ... 

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Political Organizing Notes: The Irony of ALEC versus Better Georgia (and Their Apologists at the AJC)

I have no use for monied special interests of any political stripe. But conflating the conservative business lobbying group ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) with the Trayvon Martin tragedy, as Jim Galloway of the Atlanta Journal Constitution does here and has done elsewhere, is unspeakably sleazy.

Jim Galloway: Giving Indignation a Bad Name ... 

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Ed Kramer Guilty of Child Molestation: Now Will Bob Barr Face Consequences for His Role in the Deception?

After leaving Congress in 2003, Georgia Congressman Bob Barr reinvented himself politically in dramatic ways.  He aligned with the ACLU, began advocating for the legalization of marijuana, and ran for president on the 2008 Libertarian Party ticket.  Now Barr is attempting to rejoin the Republican and conservative mainstream in a bid to secure Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, where he is currently a leading contender.

Barr’s about-face on issues that alienate conservative voters left many wondering what he really stands for.  His role in the notoriously corrupt defense of now-convicted child molester Ed Kramer should raise more questions in voters’ minds.  Here is my previous post on Kramer’s decade-long manipulation of the justice system. ... 

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Is Katherine Ann Power Violating the Law by Profiting from the Murder of Officer Walter Schroeder? Did Boston University and Oregon State Help Her Break Parole?

In 1970, Katherine Ann Power helped murder Boston Police officer Walter Schroeder in a bank robbery.  Power was a college radical who was helping arm the Black Panthers by robbing banks and stealing weapons.  Thanks to her violent acts, rather than any discernible academic accomplishment, she is now a celebrity in academic circles, like many other violent terrorists of her time, including Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Susan Rosenberg, judge and “human rights” law professor Eleanor Raskin, and Obama Recovery Act advisor Jeff Jones.

Officer Walter A. Schroeder ... 

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Lysenkoist Healthcare Promotion, Courtesy of the New York Times

In its never-ending quest to act as the Official Organ of the Obama Administration (OOOh -Ah), The New York Times is finding new inspiration in Trofim Lysenko, the Stalinist agronomist whose peasant background, unwillingness to acknowledge errors, and willingness to send his scientific critics to their death catapulted him to the head of the Soviet Institute of Genetics.

Lysenko promised to “turn the barren fields of the Transcaucasus green in winter” through a process of exposing seedlings to cold, but his primary success lay in purging “bourgeois” adherence to the scientific method and replacing it with a “proletarian” belief that the plant world would respond to Marxist-Leninist pressures in ways identical to humans.  Unfortunately, because plants lack the forethought to worry about other plants sending them to Siberia, Lysenko met only with limited scientific success. ... 

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Laying Out the Lies of the Left

This is Leszek Kolakowski.  He is worth getting to know at this juncture in history; his essay, My Correct Views on Everything, is a classic rejoinder by an aging man who has seen the worst of the twentieth century and learned from it, addressed to somebody who has seen the worst of the twentieth century and is still making excuses for it.

That person is E.P. Thompson, seen here being admired by vast audiences for his views, roguish hair and faux-peasant sartorial choices.  If you attend a fairly rigorous college, or any arts and sciences graduate school, you will likely be assigned Thompson but not Kolakowski.  You are also likely to be attending a place where the school’s president earns far more annually than 99.9% of all those nasty “capitalist” businessmen being demonized by the faculty, who simultaneously do not think that it’s a bad thing for tenured professors and university presidents to get rich off the labor of others because their highly original thoughts on the horrors of capitalism merit six figures a year and a stable of adjuncts and grad students to do all the real teaching. ... 

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Seventies Redux: Jim Jones, Rosalyn Carter — A More Innocent Time

Thanks to Peach Pundit for linking to my logorrhea on healthcare navigation.  One of the fun things about being back in Georgia — as opposed to Florida, with its tedious palm trees, balmy beaches, and light traffic — is having an institutional memory of the political scene.  I spent twenty years in downtown Atlanta.

Once, when I was new to the city, I got off work around 3 a.m. from my job on the docks of the Georgia World Congress Center.  I drove past the Ponce de Leon Krispy Kreme donut shop, which looked way to scary to patronize, and went to an all-night grocery story instead.  In the dairy aisle, there was this wired guy who looked like he was coming from an adult costume party: he had on what  looked like a sort of mini-cape, with giant epaulets and lots of braid.  He had cornered an old woman and was lecturing her on the crucial differences between Jumbo and Large eggs. ... 

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Healthcare Navigators: It’s Not Who They Are, It’s What They Are

The Georgia political blog Peach Pundit has issued a challenge to readers to find out if the “healthcare navigators” hired in Georgia to “educate” and sign people up for the Affordable Care Act are as corrupt as these Texas navigators caught on tape counseling people to lie about their income by the indefatigable videographer James O’Keefe.

I did a little research and found a range of credibility among the nonprofit groups that are either receiving federal tax dollars directly or are “partnering” with the people who received grants to provide navigation in Georgia.  But their credibility is not the real problem, as I’ll explain below. ... 

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Timothy Alan Oates: Florida Under Gov. Bob Graham Let Another Child Rapist Free To Rape Again, Thank God for Registries

. . . The bad old days.  This is Timothy Allen Oates:

In 1987, according to the Tampa Bay Times, he was sentenced to “27 years for ransom, attempted sexual battery on an adult and indecent assault on a child younger than 16.”  Actually it looks like it was ten years. ... 

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Varieties of Self-Pity and Murder: Aaron Alexis and The New York Times

Little is known about the twelve victims brutally murdered by Aaron Alexis, but the New York Times, in a banner article, wants you to know that their killer had an “interest in Thai culture.”

Well.  That gives him a softer profile, doesn’t it?  Buddhism, Thai language skills, plus dubious claims about oppression by the police, society, white folks, his neighbors, PTSD, his employment contract, the construction guys parking outside his house, 9/11, and so on, equals victimization lottery for Mr. Alexis. ... 

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not a Hate Criminal, Says Eric Holder, But George Zimmerman Might Be

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is not being charged with a hate crime by Eric Holder for murdering three people and maiming dozens of others with bombs he and his brother built in order to kill and maim Americans, but George Zimmerman is being investigated as a hate criminal by Eric Holder for defending himself against severe bodily harm by an assailant who happened to be black.

Col. Nidal Hasan is not being called a hate criminal or a terrorist by the Obama administration for murdering thirteen adults and an unborn child and injured 32 others while shouting “Allahu-Akbar” at the Ft. Hood army post in Texas, but peaceful Tea Party activists have been profiled by the administration as potential hate criminals and terrorists. ... 

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Don’t Let Anyone Silence You On The Illegal Immigrant Amnesty Bill . . . Especially Other Republicans

[Scroll down for: Ten Things To Do to Oppose the Gang of Eight’s Amnesty Bill]

Last Thursday, Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota) appeared on the Glenn Beck show with a troubling message.  “We’re losing badly,” Bachmann said about the fight against the Gang of Eight amnesty bill for illegal immigrants.  “A lot of your viewers don’t even know we are in the middle of that fight right now,” Bachmann told Beck.  “We need your viewers to melt the phone lines and say ‘Don’t vote for any immigration bill until the border is secure.’” ... 

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Bringing Down America: An FBI Informer With the Weathermen, and a Plea to Police Witnesses

Larry Grathwohl’s book about infiltrating the Weather Underground is now available on Amazon in Kindle format, and pre-orders for hard copies can be made at the book’s website.  The hard copies should be available for sale within the next few days.  Larry is touring Florida in May, then hopefully in Atlanta, and he is available for interviews.

We are especially interested in hearing from police officers who were attacked by the Weathermen during the Chicago Days of Rage or who were targeted by their fire bombings and other attacks on police.  These stories are being suppressed by the academic establishment and especially PBS, which is trying to make the Weathermen out to be self-sacrificing cultural heroes fighting only for “peace.”  We need to tell the truth about them, their ties to foreign terrorist groups, their violence, and their real plans to imprison and “re-educate” ordinary Americans using Maoist brainwashing they used on their own cult followers.  It is a disgrace that schoolchildren are being taught to look up to these murderous lunatics. ... 

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The Abject Intellectual Bankruptcy of the CUNY Occupy Researchers

I’ve been too busy to post lately, what with moving.  And staying put.  But sometimes the universe plants a goose egg so giant that you have to say something about it just to squeeze out the door.

Changing the Subject: A Bottom-Up Account of Occupy Wall Street in New York City

by Ruth Milkman, Stephanie Luce and Penny Lewis 

And so we have this, a 51-page “study” by the esteemed sociologist of SEIU apologetics, Ruth Milkman, and her peers: Stephanie Luce (living wage academician and activist) and Penny Lewis (ACORN shill/labor prof).  These three ladies practice their activism and their academics on your dime, taxpayers, at the portentous-sounding Joseph P. Murphy Institute for Worker Education of the CUNY School of Professional Studies, which is not to be confused with the CUNY School of Unprofessional Studies, which is not to be confused with a dead parrot... 

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Naomi Wolf, Aaron Greene and Morgan Gliedman: Retro Radical Chic

A few days ago, the glossy-haired fourth estate of the Occupy Movement, Naomi Wolf, joined other activist/journalists in accusing police, federal law enforcement, and “big banks” of committing “totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent” over Occupy protesters last year.  According to Wolf, Occupy was totally subjected to torturous police crackdowns of their peaceful, non-violent, property-respecting protests, for no reason whatsoever.

Wolf’s description of this “corporate-state repression” is, to be kind, histrionic.  She sees herself and other protesters as deeply and dramatically victimized freedom fighters and visualizes Occupy’s many enemies as some sort of highly coordinated giant squid, or maybe a huge fascist octopus.  I thought it was more like code enforcement, myself.  The main concern of most taxpayers, after all, was the scabies and the defecating in the streets. ... 

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Murder by Leniency? Another Reason We Need To Stop Treating Domestic Violence Like Domestic Violence

There once was a time when feminist activists tried to make the courts respond to domestic violence the way they respond to violence between strangers.  This was a very good impulse, both morally and rationally, and also in terms of making our justice system operate equitably (in the “equal,” not “social justice” sense of the term “equitable”).

You shouldn’t serve less time for stabbing someone just because she is your wife or was once your wife.  Or your husband. ... 

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Gun Control is a Distraction: the President is Sending Grief Counselors.

 . . . And, Lester Jackson on Benny Lee Hodge, Sonia Sotomayor, and Apologies for Mass Murderers

Great Leader chatter about Obama healing the nation is engulfing every network news station — including Fox — following the mass killing in Connecticut.  Was it always this way?  I’m thinking back on Columbine, David Koresh, Oklahoma City — is anyone else getting nostalgic for mere partisan political jabs in the wake of grim and senseless violence?  There is something profoundly creepy about the bureaucratic/therapeutic/paternalistic vibe emanating from Washington.  Of course, this is part of the Department of Justice’s ongoing efforts to expand their mission beyond crime control . . . to social control.  Flying under the flag of “anti-bullying,” “hate hurts,” “restorative justice,” and “prisoner re-entry,” the Department of Justice continues its Great March behind the Great Leader into people’s lives, this time using the excuse of a nut with a gun.

The goal isn’t merely gun control.  Gun control is a speed bump on the way to social control. ... 

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Typing Monkey, Geek Culture

A Wednesday dispatch from The Typing Monkey, on socialization, the internet, geeks, girls, and dialectical materialism.  Clever monkey.

There is currently a conversation on the internet about whether “girls” are excluded unfairly from “geek” culture. I came across this fascinating post from a young woman named Serenity Caldwell, who took up the conversation as an opportunity to talk about her constant fear that members of the “geek” community might mistake her for Sarah Palin. By which she means “stupid” and not worthy to be a “geek.” She calls these gatekeepers the “fraud police,” and they apparently have a tendency to make “girls” unwelcome in “geek” society. ... 

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How to Escape the Corryvreckan Whirlpool

There are days when the weather seems to have blown a fuse, and everything’s skin temperature and slightly damp, and your mood mimics the atmosphere: malaise.

But then something shows up in the post to cheer you up.  I received a delightful piece of hate mail yesterday.  It’s nice to see people making an effort. ... 

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Mark Nuckols: Sovereign is as Sovereign Does on the Magnitsky Act

I have known Mark Nuckols since I was a teenager.  That is to say, a very very long time.  When I was 18, he knew more about politics in the real world than anyone I knew, which of course got him into endless trouble in academia, where they like their politics self-congratulatory and utterly detached from reality with a heaping helping of abject admiration on the side.

Despite being Jeopardy smart (or perhaps because of it), Nuckols never quite fit in in American academia.  You need only watch this video of Mark appearing on the Jon Stewart program to understand why.  I have to warn you, though: it is an unusual video.  I take no responsibility for it. ... 

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Typing Monkey: Welcome Back. To the Same Old Place That You Laughed About.

The day after the election, I posted a very  interesting article from someone who chooses to be known only as the Typing Monkey.    Some people thought I had written the article, but I am not and never have been a Typing Monkey.  I am a human being.

He has written again, perhaps in response to my post on Peter Hitchens.  Who knows what motivates a typing monkey?  He writes hard truths, as monkeys will.  For readers unfamiliar with British politics who link through to the Hitchens article, it’s probably useful to know that Tories would be the Republican Party, and Labour is the Democratic Party. ... 

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