Our politics are filled with such rampant stupidity, each instance often deserves its own article. However, it’s time, once again, to return to more bite-sized bits of human folly. We begin with the chasm between normal Americans, and the bureaucratic denizens of the Beltway, as The Washington Post—of all sources, reports:
Gavin Clarkson has had a tough few months. In June, he lost a Republican primary in a New Mexico congressional race. Earlier this month, he lost a bid to become New Mexico’s secretary of state.
Then, while trying to get a marriage license on Nov. 20, he had to argue with a D.C. Superior Court clerk who apparently didn’t know New Mexico is a state.
Clarkson said the clerk told him she couldn’t accept an international driver’s license and asked for his ‘New Mexico passport.’ Clarkson lives in the Land of Enchantment, but visits the District to see his fiancee.
‘I do not have to pass through customs,’ he said in an interview with The Washington Post. The incident was first reported by the Las Cruces Sun-News.
He’d planned his wedding day to fall on his soon-to-be wife’s birthday. Would that be thwarted by a bureaucrat who was unaware that New Mexico became the 47th state on Jan. 6, 1912?
After consulting with a supervisor and performing what Clarkson speculated was a Google search, the clerk confirmed that New Mexico was, indeed, a member of the United States, and the wedding went ahead as planned.
Perhaps they just didn’t know that New Mexico is one of the 51stthrough 57thstates? And who knew the election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a Democrat district in New York City was akin to one of America’s greatest, even most miraculous, accomplishments, as Fox News reports:
Democratic Socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday said fellow progressives’ and her election victory – in an overwhelmingly Democratic district – was akin to the 1969 moon landing and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
‘We’ve done what we thought was impossible,’ she told a crowd during an event hosted by an environmental group, the Sunshine Movement, that aims to combat climate change.
‘We went to the moon. We electrified the nation. We established civil rights. We enfranchised the country. We dig deep, and we did it. We did it when no one else thought that we could. That’s what we did when so many of us won an election this year,’ Ocasio-Cortez added.
What a tragedy there is no more room on Mt. Rushmore. As regular readers know, I have often written about effective means of dealing with school attacks. Oakland University has obviously not visited the Manor. Legal Insurrection reports:
No, this is not Babylon Bee or The Onion. Oakland University, located in Auburn Hills, Michigan, has trained its professors and staff to fight off potential shooters with hockey pucks.
Hockey pucks. The professors and staff will use hockey pucks to stop shooters.
Oakland University Police Chief Mark Gordon came up with the idea to use hockey pucks during a training session on how to deal with an active shooter situation since the university doesn’t allow guns on campus.
Gordan used to teach youth hockey. He remembered how a hockey to the head ‘caused a fair amount of damage.’ From The Detroit News:
The university faculty union’s executive committee took part in one of the training sessions that included the concept in June and soon after, decided to begin purchasing and supplying the pucks, said Tom Discenna, president of the American Association of University Professors.
Discenna said he’d heard that tossing items — like billiard balls — at a possible assailant is well received in the law enforcement community, and when the chief suggested hockey pucks, the union decided to get on board.
‘We thought ‘yeah, that is something that we can do,’ he said. ‘We can make these available at least to our members and a fair number of students as well.’
Gordon admitted no one has done studies on using a puck to stop a shooter, but he believes ‘a puck is an adequate defense posture along with the use of chairs, staplers or anything else that has weight and can do damage.’
The training program told the staff to run first. If they cannot do this then find a place to hide. Basically only use the puck as a last resort.
Well yeah. One always saves the weapons of mass destruction for last.
Hockey pucks provide the ability to be carried in briefcases or backpacks, are not considered a weapon, and will meet the goal of distracting the shooter,’ Gordon added.
‘Part of the strategy for fighting is you need to create a distraction to give yourself time as a group in a classroom to rush the gunman so you can get your hands on the gun and take it away from the shooter,’ Gordon said.
800 staff members have already received hockey pucks. The administration hopes to give 1,700 to students. The pucks cost 94 cents each and the union has spent $2,500 so far. The recipients do not pay for their pucks.
It appears Chief Gordon may have himself been hit in the head. Rocks would be cheaper and as handy—and as ineffective. And finally, we have a brilliant new concept in education, courtesy of PJ Media:
The Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), housed in a gracious office on the ground floor of the Columbia library, is launching a new class to educate professors on how to be ‘inclusive’ to all students — except, of course, conservatives.
The ‘Inclusive Teaching Seminar’ will be held in Spring 2018 and will host five meetings. While “inclusive” is vague, the CTL website explains that each session will be dedicated to a specific topic, such as “inclusive grading” or ‘preventing microaggressions.’
PhD students — future professors — are specifically invited to apply, but Columbia officials did not respond to inquiries on if the seminar will be mandatory for anyone, or if attendance could count towards tenure applications for junior faculty.
‘In a cohort of peers, participants will engage in conversations around topics such as learning through diversity, growth mindset, microaggressions and implicit bias, trigger warnings, stereotype threat, and inclusive homework assessments,’ the program explains.
According to a December 6, 2017 Powerpoint presentation by the CTL, inclusive grading starts by ‘trusting students to assess themselves.’ [skip]
‘Grades are currency for a capitalist system that reduces teaching and learning to a mere transaction’ (emphasis added), the CTL states, quoting activist Jesse Stommel. ‘Grading is a massive co-ordinated effort to take humans out of the educational process.’
Fifteen of the 34 Powerpoint slides specifically encourage professors to let students grade themselves. If students can choose their own grades, the presentation asserts, then they’ll feel less stress and anxiety, and maybe even learn more productively.
What a brilliant educational innovation! However, I fear our higher education betters lack the wit to extend their own—ahem–logic. If students may profitably grade themselves, may they not grant themselves degrees as well? Would this not be the ultimate expression of woke virtue and learning? And if they can, what of our institutions of higher learning and the lifetime sinecures of the tenured?
Too stupid to survive.