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Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

2010’s Heroes and Zeroes

Today’s spiked reviews the year 2010 with a series of articles. In the lead article, “A year of intellectual rebels and misanthropic moaners,” spiked readers and writers name their heroes and zeroes of the year. Here are mine: HERO: Diane Ravitch, whose bestselling book The Death and Life of the Great American School System made her the most […]

People would rather see celebrities “dead” than donate to AIDS charity

Thumbnail : People would rather see celebrities “dead” than donate to AIDS charity

The “Digital Death” campaign from AIDS charity “Keep a Child Alive” has got to be one of the most sanctimonious celebrity campaigns ever. It is also turning out to be one of the biggest flops ever. Various celebrities, from Kim Kardashian (famous for… being Kim Kardashian) to Swizz Beatz (huh? or am I just out […]

Diane Ravitch responds to Bill Gates

Thumbnail : Diane Ravitch responds to Bill Gates

Bill Gates has spent a lot of his money in support of trendy school reforms, and education historian Diane Ravitch has become recognized as probably his most articulate opponent in this area. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ravitch has some great replies to questions from Gates. Here is her response to Gates’ question, “Does […]

“Don’t touch my junk”

Will John Tyner become the latest American folk (mass media) hero for uttering those words? As you will learn from this video, Tyner refused to be scanned by one of the new, full-body Advanced Imaging Technology machines at San Diego airport. He then resisted a TSA agent’s attempt to swipe his hand over his body, including […]

Anti-religious holiday messages are not humanistic

The American Humanist Association (AHA) and similar groups will soon be launching an anti-religion advertising blitz to coincide with the holiday season. The AHA’s campaign will contrast violent and sexist passages from the Bible and Koran with quotes from non-believers like Albert Einstein and Katharine Hepburn. It differs from last year’s “Be Good for Goodness Sake” theme. […]

Juan Williams and illiberal liberalism

National Public Radio’s firing of its reporter and pundit Juan Williams is disturbing for advocates of free expression and debate. NPR is, of course, free to hire and fire whoever they want; Williams did not have a job for life. And, in my opinion, he’s not a particularly insightful commentator. But the circumstances of his firing are problematic. […]

Free speech not allowed on campus

Campus speech codes have not gone away, says George Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), in this video interview with Reason.tv. Lukianoff says that 71 per cent of campuses still impose highly restrictive codes. These codes stifle free speech, and treat students like children.

Authoritarian NYC to poor: “No soda for you!”

New York has announced another move in its authoritarian campaign against obesity. Thomas Farley and Richard Daines, the health commissioners for New York City and New York State respectively, have an op-ed in today’s New York Times entitled “No food stamps for sodas”. They announce: New York City and State are asking the United States Department of […]

The “small schools are better” dogma

At times it seems that everyone in the education debate is in favor of smaller schools and class sizes. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has spent millions to break up bigger schools. A new movie, Waiting for Superman, extols the benefits of charter schools with smaller-than-usual student numbers. As commensensical as it sounds, there is […]

Mapping segregation in New York and other cities

Thumbnail : Mapping segregation in New York and other cities

An interesting map of segregation by race in New York City, by Eric Fischer. Red is for Whites, Blue is for Blacks, Green is for Asians, Orange is for Hispanics, Gray is for Others. Each dot is 25 people. Fischer has mapped the largest 40 cities in the US (see here). Hard to know exactly what […]

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