Roundup: I’ve Got a Lot of Learning to Do

Robin Marty

Are you smarter than a 5th grader? These people don't think you are, including the college professor who uses the Bible to teach his science classes.

Education.  It’s something I think about a lot.  We’re already planning where our two year old will hopefully go to kindergarten in a few years, and we’re slowly amassing a 529 to get her through college.

But is there a point to learning?  Is ignorance bliss?  The folks in today’s roundup sure seem to think so…

First, Ex-Real World San Francisco participant Rachel Campos Duffy writes on why we shouldn’t give up on abstinence only education, even though it’s providing to be a failure:

Instead of arguing over whose [sex-ed] poll is right, I propose we consider
something most parents can probably agree on: Abstinent teens are
happier and more likely to succeed in school.
Do moms and dads really need a study to tell them that teens who
abstain from sex until at least the age of 18 are more likely to go to
and finish college? Plenty of studies confirm this, but we also know from our own observations in high school that teen sex and high academic achievement are rarely compatible.

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Much like the reality-tv star, I could also pick my own study.  In this case, an informal survey of all of my high school friends who graduated at the top of our class as (somewhat) well-adjusted, sexually active teenagers, who also all managed to use protection and not impregnate or infect ourselves (Yikes, hope my mom doesn’t read this one.  Sorry, Mom, but you sort of figured, right?)

But in the real world (heh), who really wants to go to college anyway, right?  After all, it makes you stupider, according to this column on Fox News:

On an individual level, less than 60% (sometimes far less) of college graduates can identify on a multiple-choice test the three branches of government; seminal passages from the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address; basic events from the Revolutionary, Civil, and Vietnam Wars; and the primary features of our free enterprise system. Several of these questions are actually required knowledge for new American citizens, signifying their relevance to what we as a nation demand for informed citizenship.

On an institutional level, ISI discovered that at many of our most
elite schools, like Yale, Princeton, Duke, and my alma mater
Georgetown, not only did those surveyed fail to get above a “D,” seniors at these top schools did worse than freshmen on the same test, a phenomenon dubbed “negative learning”!

Conventional wisdom, along with the hard-earned savings of American
families, has long supported the notion that “with more college comes
more knowledge.” ISI’s research has punctured the validity of such
simple claims, drawing back the curtain of academia’s Land of Oz to
reveal the smoke and mirrors of a veritable vacuum of civic ignorance.

Instead of learning the pivotal events of wars and capitalism, those nasty kids are walking away "more likely to identify as Democrats," according to the author.  Institutions of learning, My Aunt Fannie!

Luckily, not all college instructors are brainwashing our future with the nasty byproducts of potential liberalism.

The Northern California branch of the ACLU has publicly released  their
correspondence with Fresno City College that requests Professor Bradley
Lopez cease instruction that, "inculcate[s] sectarian doctrine in
violation of federal and state constitutions."

Lopez has been accused by his students of numerous violations of
teaching his own religious viewpoint as science "fact."  Accusations in
the letter to Fresno City College include the following actions by
Lopez.  Lopez allegedly:

* Presented a slide listing “homosexual facts,” including that
homosexuality is a “biological misapplication of human sexuality” and
said that the “recommended treatment” is “psychological counseling” or
“hormone supplements.”

* Presented LGBT people as a burden on and/or threat to society,
claiming, for example, that anything but a heterosexual union provides
a “one-sided foundation for raising children.”

* Presented bible passages as “empirical” evidence that life begins at
conception in support of his assertion that abortion is murder and “the
leading cause of death in this country” (because there are over a
million abortions a year).

* Followed a slide on climate change in a presentation on
“environmental health” with a slide containing a Biblical quote about
the world ending in fire, and said “that is the real global warming we
should be worried about.”

* Repeatedly referenced the Bible and used it as a teaching tool, for
example assigning as homework a question as to Jesus’ genetic makeup.


Wow, with teachers like that, it’s no wonder people are learning more from tv these days.

Mini Roundup: Just because they might be able to use pot to make male birth control doesn’t mean you get to smoke it.


February 11, 2010

forties women match teenage abortions

change to
laws: Bligh

New York Times

Planned Parenthood Pushes Sex Ed for 10 –Year-Olds

members deserve
family-planning options
Washington Post

‘Safe sex’ overlooks risks
Wausau Daily Herald

309 Hearing Receives Revealing Testimony On Newborn
Pacific News Center

city reconsiders proposed ‘bubble zone’ after
pro-life objections
Catholic News Agency


February 10, 2010

sides ask for ruling on Ark.
adoption ban

Don’t Give Up on Abstinence Education


consequences of
family-planning cuts

the new 5-day morning-after pill is a real advance

OK to offend Christians, but not others on


Anti-abortion ad
in Super Bowl isn’t game-breaking
The Spartan Daily

Billboards In Metro Area

and Dumber? What Are College Kids Learning About Our Country?

clinic put on probation
San Jose Mercury News

Aide: Health Care Summit a Trick, Strategy on Pro-
Abortion Bill Decided

Instructor in public college class quotes Bible to condemn

Puts Planned Parenthood Clinic on Probation After Undercover Sting

Abortion Not
Part of Harper’s Maternal Health Initiative: Conservative MP

New Mitt Romney: De-Emphasizing
Abortion, Gay Marriage, Tea Party
Huffington Post

The Daily Iowan

Birth Control Key
at Bottom of Bong?

TV dramas can influence
birth-control use

woman speaks on
birth control suit

Archbishop Praises American
Pro-Life Movement
Christian News Wire

Continues on USCCB Official’s "Involvement" in Pro-Abortion Group

Rica Elects "
Pro-Life" President

House Speaker Backs Down, Will Allow
Pro-Life Teen to Receive Award

News: Susan B. Anthony, Scott Roeder, Canada, Abortion, Flowers

News Abortion

Pennsylvania’s TRAP Law Could Be the Next to Go Down

Teddy Wilson

The Democrats' bill would repeal language from a measure that targets abortion clinics, forcing them to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical facilities.

A Pennsylvania lawmaker on Wednesday introduced a bill that would repeal a state law requiring abortion clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical facilities (ASF). The bill comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling striking down a similar provision in Texas’ anti-choice omnibus law known as HB 2.

A similar so-called targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) law was passed in Pennsylvania in 2011 with bipartisan majorities in both the house and state senate, and was signed into law by former Gov. Tom Corbett (R).

SB 1350, sponsored by Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) would repeal language from Act 122 that requires abortion clinics to meet ASF regulations. The text of the bill has not yet been posted on the state’s legislative website.

The bill is co-sponsored by state Sens. Art Haywood (D-Philadelphia), Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia), and Judy Schwank (D-Berks).

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Leach said in a statement that there has been a “nationwide attack on patients and their doctors,” but that the Supreme Court’s ruling upholds the constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy.

“Abortion is a legal, Constitutionally-protected right that should be available to all women,” Leach said. “Every member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly swore an oath to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States, so we must act swiftly to repeal this unconstitutional requirement.”

TRAP laws, which single out abortion clinics and providers and subject them to regulations that are more stringent than those applied to medical clinics, have been passed in several states in recent years.

However, the Supreme Court’s ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that struck down two of the provisions in HB 2 has already had ramifications on similar laws passed in other states with GOP-held legislatures.

The Supreme Court blocked similar anti-choice laws in Wisconsin and Mississippi, and Alabama’s attorney general announced he would drop an appeal to a legal challenge of a similar law.

News Politics

Rep. Steve King: What Have People Of Color Contributed to Civilization?

Ally Boguhn

King came under fire this month after local news station KCAU aired footage showing that the Iowa representative keeps a Confederate flag displayed on his desk.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) on Monday questioned what “contributions” people of color have made to civilization while appearing on an MSNBC panel during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

King’s comments came during a discussion on racial diversity within the Republican Party in which fellow panelist Charles P. Pierce said, “If you’re really optimistic, you can say this was the last time that old white people would command the Republican Party’s attention, its platform, its public face.”

“That [convention] hall is wired by loud, unhappy, dissatisfied white people,” Pierce added.

“This ‘old white people’ business though does get a little tired, Charlie,” King responded. “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out, where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you’re talking about. Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

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“Than white people,” Hayes attempted to clarify.

“Than Western civilization itself,” King said. “It’s rooted in Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the United States of America and every place where the footprint of Christianity settled the world. That’s all of Western civilization.”

Another panelist, reporter April Ryan, countered “What about Asia? What about Africa?” before the panel broke out into disarray. Hayes moved to cut off the group, telling them, “We’re not going to argue the history of civilization.”

“Let me note for the record that if you’re looking at the ledger of Western civilization, for every flourishing democracy you’ve got Hitler and Stalin as well,” Hayes said. “So there’s a lot on both sides.”

Hayes justified abruptly ending the conversation about King’s comments in a series of tweets, saying that he had been “pretty taken aback by” the comments.

“The entire notion of debating which race/civilization/ ‘sub group’ contributed most or is best is as odious as it is preposterous,” Hayes tweeted. “Which is why I said ‘we’re not debating this here.’ But I hear people who think I made the wrong call in the moment. Maybe I did.”

King came under fire this month after local news station KCAU aired footage showing that the Iowa representative keeps a Confederate flag displayed on his desk. King, speaking with Iowa talk radio host Jeff Angelo, defended keeping the flag in his office.

“This is a free country and there’s freedom of speech,” King said, according to Right Wing Watch. “And, by the way, I’d encourage people to go back and read the real history of the Civil War and find out what it was about. A small part of it was about slavery, but there was a big part of it that was about states’ rights, it was about people that defended their homeland and fought next to their neighbors and their family.”

As the Washington Post’s Philip Bump explained in a report on King’s comments, “there have been a great number of non-white contributions to human civilization.”

“Civilization first arose in cities in Mesopotamia, in what is now Iraq and Syria. Arabic and Middle Eastern inventors and scientists brought astronomy to the world, which in turn aided innovations in navigation,” Bump wrote. “Critical innovations in mathematics and architecture originated in the same area. The Chinese contributed philosophical precepts and early monetary systems, among other things. The specific inventions that were created outside of the Western world are too many to list: the seismograph, the umbrella, gunpowder, stirrups, the compass.”