Those “Uppity Conservatives”


Apparently the right has had enough of being shut down by violence, shouting and vandalism. This is from a site called alternet.org, and describes how the devilishly powerful right-wing Goldwater Institute is hoping to pass legislation which ensures that the First Amendment rights of speakers should be protected.

Those b@stards!!!!

As far-right speakers face loud student opposition at their university speaking gigs, conservative lawmakers in several states are introducing legislation that cracks down on protesters. As uncovered by UnKoch My Campus’ Ralph Wilson, numerous states have borrowed their so-called “campus free speech” bills from the rightwing Goldwater Institute, which is funded by conservative plutocrats including Charles Koch and the Mercer family.

You can just tell they really hate conservative plutocrats!

The intent of these bills isn’t to protect student speech; it’s actually to suppress it in favor of guest speakers who, at times, support white nationalism, LGBTQ discrimination and other hateful worldviews. By funding the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, wealthy conservatives are enabling the promotion of hate speech while stifling student dissent. Whether or not Koch, for example, agrees with the hate speech he indirectly sponsors, he certainly benefits from a more friendly academic environment for far-right ideologues who often deny climate change and praise his extreme brand of tax- and regulation-free capitalism.

Please, tell me again how much you love freedom?

Picture source. Berkeley Riots to deny the First Amendment Rights of Conservatives 

The Goldwater Institute’s model bill allegedly ensures “the fullest degree of…free expression,” but it explicitly states that “protests and demonstrations that infringe upon the rights of others to engage in or listen to expressive activity shall not be permitted and shall be subject to sanction.”

I’m again going into slow-type mode to make the point to leftists. If we value freedom of speech, we value it for those who say things which are wrong. Stupid things. Incorrect things. Conservative plutocraty things!

If you shut down a legal demonstration with an illegal one, then you have become Bull Connor. If you burn police cars or outdoor lighting equipment so that a conservative cannot speak, you are the modern equivalent of the Klan, riding in white robes. The only difference is that you feel the right is “uppity.” 

Just in case the nuance is lost on the left: No way will we allow free speech to be destroyed for your short term gain. You will lose this. You are on the wrong side of history.

Tom Bergeron vs. Al Frankin


I’ve seen pictures of the Dancing With the Stars host next to Neil Gorsuch’s picture. I was not convinced of the resemblance. This video shows it.

Oh, and Al Franken is unimpressive.

h/t Ace.

The Best Part of the “Kimberlin Buys Trump Forgeries” Story


Not that Brett Kimberlin thought that evidence against a sitting president — a billionaire — could be bought for $9,000.

Not that his one chance for relevance to Democratic operatives just got destroyed by documents with the wrong dates and misspelled names.

No. The best part of this is in the headline.

Canada Free Press:

Domestic.png

After all he’d done to change the narrative. To make himself a new story. To sue people who write the truth about him.

After all that, he’s a “convicted domestic terrorist.” Hey. Don’t take my word. Ask the Canada Free Press.

Buzzfeed reminds us why: 

Kimberlin earned the nickname “Speedway Bomber” by setting a string of bombs in Speedway, Indiana in 1978. Though nobody died from the blasts, one Vietnam veteran had his leg amputated due to injuries suffered during one bombing. Carl DeLong, the victim, committed suicide in 1983.

Kimberlin was deemed to be civilly responsible for Delong’s death by suicide and he was ordered to pay a large sum to DeLong’s widow. He has not. — Dave

Kimberlin, who is in his early 60s, served 17 years in prison for the bombing spree. He gained more notoriety in prison after he concocted a story about having once sold marijuana to then-Vice President Dan Quayle. The story was propagated by Cody Shearer, a political operative who worked for the Clintons in the 1990s. After being released from prison, Kimberlin has battled conservative activists who have drawn attention to his newfound career as a left-wing operative.

Buzzfeed didn’t want to look up his actual age, so I did:

62

And apparently, that’s what he’ll always be. 01035-079

No, You Don’t Have a “Learning Style”


I wrote about this before here. The Federalist has an article here.

While nearly 90 percent of Americans think people have unique learning styles — the best known are labeled auditory, visual, and kinesthetic — cognitive research has steadily debunked the idea over time. To mark Brain Awareness Week this month, 30 internationally respected neuroscientists, psychologists, and educators issued a public letter asking teachers to stop wasting time with it.

Is there a way you’d prefer to learn? Sure. But the original Learning Styles theory was based upon the notion that Johnny learned using physical actions like dancing or creating, and Jaimie learned best by listening, while Jerome learned best by reading.

I doubted this was true but noted that there were no studies which proved it was true. That’s how science is supposed to work.  Develop a theory, test it, and then apply it.

In teaching, we skipped the testing step. We do that a lot.

Of course the Learning Styles notion was useless for complex concepts like nouns, verbs, polynomials and just about everything.

A recent survey about education myths pins both teacher training and the media for popularizing “learning styles” memes, which include the concepts of “right brain versus left brain,” “multiple intelligences,” and “reasoning versus intuitive.” These all make for fun TV segments and lots of moolah for pop psychologists like Malcom Gladwell, yet not only do not benefit learners through opportunity cost they keep people from doing something more useful with their thoughts and bodies.

[FYI: I actually am a right brain learner, plus I favor my left ventricle, right testicle and large intestine. — Dave]

I know some people don’t like learning from a book, and others can’t stand lectures, and others like building and making things. Each of these strategies is task specific, in my opinion. I don’t want a surgeon who has only learned it all from a book, or a mechanic who only has read the manual. On the other hand, I don’t really want a doctor who has merely learned where and how to cut, but understands nothing of the why. 

If your brain is so highly specialized that it cannot take in material at all in multiple ways, then congratulations. You’re autistic. Or disabled in some way. This is a really, really small percentage of people.

Update: The North Carolina teaching evaluation contains a requirement that teachers consider Learning Styles. In other words, pseudoscience:

Learning Styles.png

 

Still Around


I haven’t updated my whereabouts in a long time, although I’ve surfaced here and there.  I can see that Dave and the rest of the gang are keeping free speech alive, sometimes it seems like singlehandedly.  I’m delighted that Team Kimberlin appears to be in the final stages of imploding, largely due to John Hoge’s and Aaron Walker’s efforts and they deserve maximum kudos as a result from everyone.

Me.  After peddling my ass for a quarter-century as a lawyer I’m now coming up on one full year of pedaling my ass on a bike.  I’ve restarted my blog to publish info about this year’s rides.  If you’d care to look here’s the [linkie].

I’m still working on a book about last year’s trip. I’ve used a crazyguyonabike journal [linkie] to help get everything organized. The 5,000 or so photos I took during the ride will ultimately appear there. It’s been slow going, but the process has been very rewarding.

I hope this finds everyone happy, well and prosperous, and that things stay that way during the rest of the year.  I’m counting on seeing the final demise of TK and all its minions this year, but we’ll see, I guess.

So take it easy.

David

Anarchists vs. Civilization


Daily Mail:

Three people and a terrorist are dead after an attacker brought carnage to central London today, mowing down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and hacking at police with knives in the grounds of the Houses of Parliament.

A woman leans down on Westminster Bridge to help another woman who was injured in this afternoon's  attack in London

At least 20 people were hit on the crowded bridge when a 4×4 drove along the pavement, knocking down pedestrians before crashing into a fence below Big Ben.
An intruder, described by a witness as ‘middle-aged and Asian’, then managed to break into the grounds of the Parliament where he fatally stabbed a police officer with two knives.

The policeman died at the scene. The attacker, who was shot by armed officers, died after he was taken to hospital.

It is currently believed one attacker was involved, killing three people, including the policeman, and leaving at least 20 pedestrians and three other police officers seriously injured.

In the UK, Asian of course usually means Pakistani or Indian. Regardless of the particular country or culture, I’m betting this one belongs to a global sect of enraged radical losers who kill people out of fundamentalist idiocy. Anarchists whose anger and violence are unjustified. Who have been treated well by civil society, but who still want to burn it down.

Oh, sure, he could be Lutheran. Or Unitarian. I’ll keep an open mind.

I hope the people of the UK are making difficult policy decisions based upon this sort of thing.  I won’t presume to tell them what those things might be. But…

Sticking one’s head in the bloody sand won’t work, mate. 

And in totally unrelated news:

Ankara (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Wednesday that Europeans risk being unsafe on the world’s streets, as a crisis between Ankara and the EU showed no signs of abating.

“If you continue to behave like this, tomorrow in no part of the world, no European, no Westerner will be able to take steps on the street safely and peacefully,” Erdogan said during a speech in Ankara.

Erdogan did not expand on what he meant by his comments but appeared to imply that Europeans risked receiving the same treatment that, he says, is endured by Turks and Muslims in Europe.