Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Another Reason I'm Glad I'm Retired

Nonsense like this is one reason why I'm glad I no longer am a college professor.
The University of Tennessee has told its staff and students to stop calling each other 'he', 'she', 'him' and 'her' - and to start referring to one another with terms like 'xe', 'zir' and 'xyr' instead.

The Knoxville branch of the public university, which has 27,400 students, sent a memo round to its members filled with unusual new parts of speech to avoid referring to anybody's gender.

According to a gay rights official at the university, the new language regime will make the university 'welcoming and inclusive' and stop people feeling 'marginalized'.

The university published the instructions on its website on Wednesday after they were emailed to every member of the university by the institution's Vice Chancellor for Diversity.

Donna Braquet, who runs the university's Pride Center, wrote the guidelines, which are accompanied with a long table demonstrating how to replace the regular parts of speech.
Click to embiggen.
She also advises staff members not to call roll in class, and to instead greet every student by asking them to announce their name and pronoun of preference.
Your tax dollars at work - Donna Braquet, a gay rights official at the university, wrote the guidelines, which were sent to the entire university.

'Ze' is crazy.

In addition to being just plain ludicrous, this is a great example of why college tuition is skyrocketing - the absurd growth of administrative programs that do nothing to educate students.
The number of non-academic administrative and professional employees at U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the last 25 years, vastly outpacing the growth in the number of students or faculty, according to an analysis of federal figures.

Universities have added these administrators and professional employees even as they’ve substantially shifted classroom teaching duties from full-time faculty to less-expensive part-time adjunct faculty and teaching assistants, the figures show.

“They’ve increased their hiring of part-time faculty to try and cut costs,” said Donna Desrochers, a principal researcher at the Delta Cost Project, which studies higher-education spending. “Yet other factors that are going on, including the hiring of these other types of non-academic employees, have undercut those savings.”

Part-time faculty and teaching assistants now account for half of instructional staffs at colleges and universities, up from one-third in 1987, the figures show.

During the same period, the number of administrators and professional staff has more than doubled. That’s a rate of increase more than twice as fast as the growth in the number of students.
I've seen the increased use of part-time faculty and teaching assistants, at the expense of full-time faculty. It's like any other profession. In some cases it's an improvement, but overall the quality tends to go down.

An argument in support of these changes might be made if there was a measurable improvement in universities' performance, but there is no data to support that.
...the doubling of administrative and professional staffs doesn’t seem to have improved universities’ performance. Since 2002, the proportion of four-year bachelor’s degree-seeking students who graduate within even six years, for instance, has barely inched up, from 55 percent to 58 percent...
So what are we getting for all that extra expense?
Since 1987, universities have started or expanded departments devoted to marketing (that's marketing of the university, not the degree program in Marketing), diversity, disability, sustainability, security, environmental health, recruiting, technology, and fundraising...
Like I said, I'm thrilled to no longer be a part of that nonsense.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

All Is Well

If you're not from Texas you probably won't get why this is such a big deal, but it is.

A Very Big Deal!!!

Blue Bell Ice Cream Returns to Store Shelves
Four months after announcing one of the food industry’s most sweeping recalls, ice-cream maker Blue Bell Creameries is embarking on one of the industry’s most-ambitious recovery attempts.

The Texas company’s ice-cream cartons began reappearing in grocery stores in several cities on Monday, a major step after Blue Bell yanked all its products following a deadly listeria outbreak...>

Blue Bell faces an arduous effort to regain the trust of large retailers and persuade consumers its products are safe, branding consultants say. The 108-year-old expected to draw significant support from its many fans in Texas, but one of its main hurdles will be to win over consumers outside its home state and other strongholds in the southern U.S., they say.

One advantage for Blue Bell is many Texans display an obsession with its ice cream...

In the immediate aftermath of the recall, Blue Bell fans took to Facebook and Twitter to express their dismay. “It’s been raining in Texas since Blue Bell closed,” one Facebook post said earlier this year as torrential downpours flooded parts of the state. “Because God is crying.”

“Texas is a gimme,” said Gene Grabowski, a consultant who managed Blue Bell’s crisis communications for about three months following the recall. “People there eat Blue Bell like it’s a duty..."
I wish I enjoyed all my duties half as much as I do eating Blue Bell.

Monday, August 31, 2015

FOD 2015.08.31

Feel-Good Green Policies, I'd like to introduce you to Economic Reality.

Obama’s New Climate Rules Will Hurt Poor, Minority Americans the Most
“We know that low-income, minority communities would be hardest hit.”

That’s Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy, speaking about the higher energy prices that would result from the Obama administration’s recently announced climate regulations on power plants.

... While the median family spends about 5 cents out of every dollar on energy costs, low-income families spend about 20 cents of every dollar.

And the economic pain from the regulations won’t be simply the direct costs of higher energy prices. It will be the higher prices for all the goods we purchase. Energy, after all, is a necessary component to manufacture those goods.

A few weeks ago, President Barack Obama blasted critics of his Clean Power Plan, saying, “Even more cynical, we’ve got critics of this plan who are actually claiming that this will harm minority and low-income communities—even though climate change hurts those Americans the most, who are the most vulnerable.”

But this plan will hurt minority and low-income families the most, as McCarthy has admitted. And energy efficiency handouts and mandates are certainly not going to be a panacea for the federal government’s energy-raising, job-crushing climate regulations.
So much for 'black lives matter.'

On the other hand, that's at least one campaign promise he's keeping.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Funnies 2015.08.30

I've spent the past few days helping friends move. Moving is a huge pain in the butt, but it's even more miserable when it takes place in Texas during the August heat.

When we agreed to help our friend move to a new apartment, we didn't know the elevator wasn't working. So after hours of carrying heavy boxes and furniture up 11 floors, we were wiped out. And when the friend asked us to search for his favorite picture, no one moved.

"I'll give a bottle of Scotch to whoever finds it," he shouted.

Within minutes, someone found the picture.

"Good," said our friend. "Now look for the Scotch."

Is this a great country or what. It’s the only place where you can borrow money for a down payment, get a 1st and 2nd mortgage and call yourself a homeowner.

A client bought a new home and the broker wanted to send flowers for the occasion.

They arrived at the home and the owner read the card; it said “Rest in Peace”.

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist said. “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry you should think about this: somewhere there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying, “Congratulations on your new home”.

Murphy's Laws of Moving

1. No matter how many boxes you have, you will never have enough.

2. The more your friends promise to help, the more likely it is they will be deathly ill or out of town the weekend you are moving.

3. Whatever it is that you need, it is always in the bottom of a box that has already been taped shut.

4. Now that you are moving and no longer need it, you will always find something you have been looking for for years.

5. The tape, the scissors, the markers and the screwdriver all know how to play hide ‘n’ seek.

6. The thing that gets broken will always be an irreplaceable antique heirloom - never something cheap that you didn't like anyway.

7. Regardless of long the drought has been going on, it will always rain on moving day.

8. You will always loose your checkbook, your car keys, the remote control or the telephone.

9. If you stay up all night packing to be ready for the movers, they will be late.

10. No matter how large the new place is, it will shrink before you move in.

Saturday, August 29, 2015


Sorry for the lack of active posting, but I've been busy. In the meantime, here's a couple of images that say a lot more than I could in words.

Hypocritical assholes...

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2015.08.28

In my younger, more foolish days, I had a boat ... and a buddy like this...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hodegepodge 2015.08.27

Clearing out a few images from the backlog...

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thank You Charlie Daniels

Thank you, Charlie Daniels, for your music.

Thank you as well for giving me an easy way out of having to come up with something original for today's post.

But most of all think you for your penetrating words laying open the putrid  pile of bile that is today's congress.

Charlie Daniels' Open Letter to Congress: 'You've Betrayed Your Country'

By Charlie Daniels | August 25, 2015
I am a proud American who believes that America has held – and still holds – a very sensitive and special place in the affairs of mankind on Planet Earth. I believe that America has been divinely blessed and protected in our two centuries plus of existence.

I believe that America has been a counter balance that has cancelled out a lot of tyranny, evil and conquest, and admittedly, we have made a lot of mistakes. But on balance we have exerted a certain Pax Americana in the international affairs of mankind.

It took a lot of old fashioned guts for the Continental Congress to stand up to the world's mightiest military and tell them that we demanded our independence, even at the peril of going up against a far superior force on land and sea, and with only a ragtag army of untrained citizens, many of whom had to supply their own firearms.

It took courage above and beyond for Abraham Lincoln to push the country into a Civil War that he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt would divide this nation for decades.

It took guts to give the order for American troops to storm the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, straight into the face of artillery and machine gunfire, wave after wave being cut to ribbons by German shore emplacements.

The history of this nation is written in the blood and courage of men who stood in the face of overwhelming odds – politicians, soldiers, statesmen and ordinary citizens who sought to do the right thing regardless of the cost or the consequences.

Well, ladies and gentlemen of the United States Congress, it seems that that particular pen has run out of ink. The courageous politicians that once championed this nation have been replaced, for the most part, by a breed of milksop, politically correct, scared of their own shadow, pushover, pathetic excuses for public servants who are supposed to be representing a constituency of citizens who have to live with the circumstances of their timid folly.

You don't even have the courage to face down an out of control president, even when he makes a deal with the devil. Don't you bunch of timid capons even care what kind of world you're leaving to your children and grandchildren, not to even mention the rest of us? Are you really party partisans before your parents and grandparents or even human beings?

Be honest with yourselves a minute. Go into the bathroom and look in the mirror and ask the person you see this question: "Do I really believe that Iran will not use the money we're releasing to them to finance terrorists to kill Americans, and, when, not if, but when, the Iranians develop their nuclear device, will they really use it against America and Israel?"

You can’t hide from the truthful answer to that question forever, an answer will be required of you one day.

You have allowed Obama to tilt the Supreme Court so far to the left that they're little more than a shameful extension of the Executive Branch.

You have talked for decades about the porous southern border but have done absolutely nothing about it.

You have allowed cities in this nation to declare themselves sanctuary cities where they protect the worst of the worst criminal aliens, and American citizens are paying an awful price for your silence.

You watch an impossible National Debt balloon completely out of control, knowing full well that a day of reckoning is coming that will seriously curtail the quality of life for coming generations.

You allow corrupt government agencies like the IRS to run over the very people you are sworn to protect and allow the entitlement society to expand exponentially. All the while, you are actually entertaining the idea of raising taxes on those who still work and shoulder the burden.

You compose a third of the constitutionally mandated ruling system,and you shirk your duty and allow this nation to move a little closer to the edge every day.

Your ratings are in the single digits; your morals are in the gutter; your minds are on self-preservation; and somewhere along the way, you’ve traded your honor for political expediency.

You've violated your oaths; you've betrayed your country; you've feathered your nests; and you've sat on your hands while an imperial president has rubbed your noses in the dirt time after time.

You're no longer men. You're puppets, caricatures, jokes, a gaggle of fading prostitutes for sale to anybody who can do you a political favor.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

What do you think?

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.

God Bless America

Charlie Daniels
Well said, Mr. Daniels.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Anchors Away

A little late to the game with this one, but it's so ridiculous that it bears repeating.

Discussing Immigration, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush Use an Offensive Term

What is the "offensive term" that has the left frothing at the mouth this time?

"Anchor babies"
The phrase is as offensive as the word “illegals” for many immigrants who come to America.

In 2011, it was defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as, “A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family.”

But after protests from immigration advocacy groups who complained that the language is a demeaning slur, the dictionary labeled it as “offensive.”
GMAFB. These are the same people who prefer the term"undocumented worker" to "illegal immigrant."

Regardless of what they are called, a strong argument can be made that the 14th Amendment does not in fact confer automatic citizenship on children born in the U.S. whose parents - or at least mother - is here illegally.
The first clause of the 14th Amendment provides that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”...
However, in legal circles the term "jurisdiction" includes two distinctly different ideas: "1) complete, political jurisdiction; and 2) partial, territorial jurisdiction."
Think of it this way. When a British tourist visits the United States, he subjects himself to our laws as long as he remains within our borders. He must drive on the right side of the road, for example. He is subject to our partial, territorial jurisdiction, but he does not thereby subject himself to our complete, political jurisdiction. He does not get to vote, or serve on a jury; he cannot be drafted into our armed forces; and he cannot be prosecuted for treason if he takes up arms against us, because he owes us no allegiance. He is merely a “temporary sojourner,” to use the language employed by those who wrote the 14th Amendment, and not “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States in the full and complete sense intended by that language in the 14th Amendment.
The same is true for those who are in this country illegally. They are subject to our laws by their presence within our borders, but they are not subject to the more complete jurisdiction envisioned by the 14th Amendment as a precondition for automatic citizenship.
Unfortunately, the current Supreme Court won't see it that way. We're talking, after all, about the same court that justified forcing Americans to buy health insurance by categorizing the penalty for not doing so as a tax, and that interpreted “Exchange(s) established by the State..." to really mean a Federal exchange.
What makes this uproar over "anchor babies" meaningless is that if we would just secure our borders and halt the influx of illegal aliens, there would be no more anchor babies, making the whole thing moot.

Monday, August 24, 2015

FOD 2015.08.24

Here's a recap of the ongoing saga of obama's fatally flawed deal with Iran. He wants to lift economic sanctions on them in exchange for their promise not to build a nuclear weapon in the next 15 years. How do we know they won't cheat? We have their word for it. If that's not enough for you, they've also promised to inspect themselves.
... Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors at the secret Parchin nuclear site under its secret side agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

This is a new one in the history of arms control. Parchin is the military complex long suspected as the home of Iran’s nuclear-weapons and ballistic-missile development. The IAEA has sought access to Parchin for more than a decade, and U.S. officials have said the deal requires Iran to come clean about Parchin by agreeing on an inspections protocol with the IAEA by the end of this year.

But that spin started to unravel three weeks ago with the discovery that the Parchin inspections were part of a secret side agreement between the IAEA and Iran—not between Iran and the six negotiating countries. Secretary of State John Kerry has said he hasn’t read the side deal, though his negotiating deputy Wendy Sherman told MSNBC that she “saw the pieces of paper” but couldn’t keep them. IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has told Members of the U.S. Congress that he’s bound by secrecy and can’t show them the side deals.

In other words, the country that lied for years about its nuclear weapons program will now be trusted to come clean about those lies. And trusted to such a degree that it can limit its self-inspections so they don’t raise “military concerns” in Iran.

Keep in mind that the side deal already excludes a role for the U.S., and that the IAEA lacks any way to enforce its side deal since it has no way of imposing penalties for violations. Iran has also already ruled out any role for American or Canadian nationals on the inspection teams.
In return, Iran gets to sell its oil on the international market, generating billions of dollars in new revenue for the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the entire world. Does anyone seriously doubt that some of that money won't get funneled to terrorist groups?

To make matters worse, other Middle East powers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, which are Sunni-majority countries, won't stand idly by while a Shia nation - Iran - gets access to nuclear weapons. And that's without even mentioning Israel.

So we get a nuclear arms race in the most unstable region in the world. We get terrorist groups flush with wads of new cash. And we get the word of highly ideological theocrats - who have repeatedly lied and lied and lied, accompanied by the unending refrain of "Death to America" - that they will behave themselves, at least for the next 15 years.

How could anyone object to that?

Would you buy a used car from these guys?

The sad thing is that there's nothing we can do to derail this deal. Even if the congress rejects the deal, and can get enough votes to override the inevitable obama veto, the other countries involved (the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council–the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany and the European Union) will go along with it.

The only way out of this mess, the only way to stop Iran from getting its hands on nukes, is for some country to take unilateral military action and destroy Iran's nuclear facilities. Otherwise there's going to be one or more mushroom clouds in our future.

That'll be obama's true legacy.