Archive for the 'higher education' Category

06
Mar
10

The Tea Party member Pam Stout; Bullied by Bob Cesca

Nothing strikes a chord with me, quite like twisting up a point of view, intentionally.  While the speech ethical line isn’t a crisp line, this continued blurring is why journalism holding some decent standards in American media, plummets.  Today, this blog entry looks at Huffington Post proxy, the self proclaimed “Political Writer, Blogger, and New Media Producer” (B.A. political science, “produced hundreds of animated shorts”) – writer Bob Cesca, in particular his attack of Pam Stout, member of the “Tea Party” movement, with his garbage /OpEdNews/ article “The Tea Party Is All About Race.”  It isn’t going to be a long entry, as his caustic dribble a rather short /opine/ and the fallacy fairly apparent.  The ongoing tread however, is more disturbing.  First, and almost required as student at CSULA, my disclaimer follows, then a brief look at running through the heart of decency, by cowards with time and a keyboard.

In some ways, I have taken the easy path thus far.  If one could argue ‘it isn’t easy being pleasey’ then in that light the path, on the contrary, is difficult.  Sadly, some folks have made a pretty penny twisting the already abstractions of life, into ‘pleasy’ obfuscations rhetorical.  I never met Lee Atwater, Willie Horton, Karl Rove, Dale Robertson “and others” – nor have I ever met, contacted nor been contacted by Pam Stout, the target of the Cesca/Huffington Post attack.  If there be a “white” party rally, and Mrs. Stout the American leader and spokesperson on stage, declaring “it’s about race” and the event covered and published by every possible  venue and outlet on the planet before the “Posted: March 3, 2010 01:38 PM” timeframe – Cesca would still be to me, a bully and as much a coward.  Let’s be clear, Ceca never explicitly names Mrs. Stout a “racist.”  Marx never explicitly argued against capitalist bankers, but since Cesca is into “analogy” and ‘deconstruction;’ let’s.  My simple ‘analogy’ provides this: natural piety (Morris, 1970) a good thing, really—art even.  Unnatural piety – crap meant to deceive, and hide.  ‘Deconstruction’ of Cesca dribble follows next.

At the start of the paragraph four, to quote in part the first sentence ramble, “I hasten to note that I’m talking about real racism [..]” and this setup follows Cesca’s third paragraph (first mention of Tea Party) “Because when you strip away all of the rage, all of the nonsensical loud noises and all of the contradictions, all that’s left is race. The tea party is almost entirely about race, and there’s no comparative group on the left that’s similarly motivated by bigotry, ignorance and racial hatred.”  Let me review that title again “The Tea Party Is All About Race.”  (my emphasis) In case one wants refuge in the ‘parsing’ defense, it is Cesca in setting up the mention of Stout “racism evident in all of those conservative spheres” that he /contends/ Stout view “veiled.” Following the one hundred nine word insert of the David Barstow profile of Pam Stout – this is where Cesca goes with  “veiled” : “Now you might be saying to yourself, I don’t see the racism here.  But if you eliminate all of the reasons for Stout’s participation in the tea party movement as being contradictory or nonsensical, all that’s left is race. […]I hate to single out one person, but Stout’s incongruous anger is indicative of the entire movement.”  The dribble never come close to articulation, let alone articulate ‘reasons’ that Pam Stout and Jim Quinn are racist, and concluded with the inference that Quinn and the Tea Party movement are ‘gutless.’

While I can state with certainty that double-talk can, as John Yoo demonstrated, have detrimental results and in that scheme I have not flinched being critical with the posture of super mouth piece Audrae Erickson (hfcs peddler for CRA);  the line, however blurred it could ever get, has to be crossed when the attack isn’t at a public known official AND aimed at that publicly known action of the person in question.  It is beyond the point of being hypocritical, in that Cesca is intentional toying with phrasing as a rhetorical device to spew his own contempt for free speech efforts by Pam Stout, Jim Quinn, the Tea Party movement, and other good Americans, who are tired of organizational bullies.  In the strictest sense, all speech breaks down into equivocation – true.  That said news is to glimpse the real, while art the “clarification, intensification, and vivifaction of experience.” (Morris, 1970).  If journalism is to be that window into an experience, the opinion along that news needs to be driven as amplification, as art does – not obfuscation as Cesca postures.  It is by the sickness of fielding homology of antinomy, that while the device grants a blissful advertisement; it is when that type of posture becomes a means to attack a person or idea – the line is crossed.  That attack by Bob Cesca, is gutless.  There is no doubt about it, but I must close as usual.  Hit me up, and tell me what’s up with this crazy world.  I wanna hear it CSULA — don’t be shy.  Let it be heard.  Outside input welcome none the less.  I know there is some label-hiding-flack and flame due, alleging I missed something, again.

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04
Mar
10

The Threshold between Health and Coke-classic Soft drink Beverage

I have to admit, I wondered about that other side.  More to the point, I thought as I could only speculate: How much cash blurs the moral of the Audrae-Erickson-s out there – and the ‘serving-the-public-interests’ elected officials.  Think back to the smoking-isn’t-bad-for-you days, if you’re that age, and if not that senior, the history of slime is something to read, and sadly history is repeating itself it seems.  For those not following the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) sweetener, and gulp down Coke (“classic”) on a regular basis, the disclaimer here I offer is a simple one: I have been around long enough to know, big business has the con game down pat, and every day I hear and see the handy work of Audrae Erickson’s Corn Refiners Association (CRA) – thus HFCS is poison.  If delusion of ‘naturalness’ propagated by CRA is keeping you blissful, and reality not your thing, stop reading this and go grab some more poison.  I am a true advocate of choice, if I am anything.  If however, you’re looking to bring high fructose corn syrup into focus, please, read on.  This blog entry is a tale, written with every intention to be objective and truthful.  It pulls together many different articles within academic journals, as well ‘news’ articles – going back to the 1960’s and noting perspectives up till, today.  As an adult college student at CSULA, this first needs to be explained:  Coughing, sniffling, and other allergic reactions witnessed time and time again, and each time I observed this syndrome about the students, and it wasn’t flu-like doing; the student was drinking HFCS laced beverage, as if it were water.  Smoking maybe, your thinking right? Nope.  Specifically; two cases are students I know and see daily, not living with me as roommates, but close by.  Both don’t smoke.  My first year in college, the student pool had some obesity going on.  As a senior, I can attest the rate of student obesity has exploded, at least two hundred percent.  Let’s not assume, Audrae Erickson and CRA the epitome of evil, but rather, we can assume big business fixates on the bottom line, and way less on the ballooning bottoms.  The results of which has been disastrous.  Well, profitable for a few, but disastrous for many. Could it be the simple case of the feeble-minded consumer, unable to grasp that common sense intake threshold, or is something else at work – drilling away, as big tobacco, through the word shell-game?  You be the judge.  The first shell piece, quantity.  The next at play, quality.

Providing CRA the benefit of the doubt is how one should first come at the ingredient debate.  They make it, from corn, they should know.  Has diabetes and obesity manifestation occurred along the same general timeframe as the introduction HFCS into snacks? Yes.  Does that mean, this synthesized fructose, caused directly or indirectly increased cases of diabetes and obesity? No. Of course not.  Does it indicate a relationship? Yes.  Of course it does.  The job of big business, in this case, as the case with tobacco, is to keep the abounding indications, apart.  Again, Audrae Erickson is probably paid a pretty penny to do just that.  Because of that, there are two camps.  There isn’t enough money to put me, in her camp.  Citing the March, 2010 Consumer Reports article by Anonymous “Nutrition experts vs. industry, and both say they’re right” in the matter of quantity, Erickson explains the position of Corn Refiners Association, this way “The Corn Refiner’s ad campaign cites a “recommended daily allowance” of added sugars, but there’s no such thing. It would be fine to consume no added sugars.  The group’s president, Audrae Erickson, told us the term is used because consumers won’t understand “threshold.”” Consumer Reports. Yonkers: Mar 2010. Vol. 75, Iss. 3; p. 11 Not my words, you can look it up if ya like.

On to quality of ingredient, and for that first here’s Erickson again, this time in March, 2010 USA Today article “Nutrition experts vs. industry, and both say they’re right” by Nanci Hellmich, a quote of this ingredient sold as natural, “As far as the debate between sugar and HFCS, she says, “there has been a lot of peer-reviewed research demonstrating that all sugars are handled similarly by the body, whether they come from corn, cane or beets. “The association is running an ad campaign “correcting the record on highfructose corn syrup,” Erickson says.”  In a keen and sadly rare journalist fashion Hellmich imported the response of the sugar industry, “[..] the Sugar Association says that “recent efforts by manufacturers of HFCS to position their product as ‘not different than’ and ‘nutritionally equal’ to sugar are false and misleading. … Sugar exists naturally in almost every fruit and vegetable, but most abundantly in sugar cane and sugar beets.””

But wait, there is so much more to this fight, and it’s really shaping up to be that good versus evil model.  Web sites, television commercial spots, and let’s not forget lobbying our ‘serving the public interest’ (as in public traded stocks, maybe) elected officials.  A rundown; from countless studies stemming back to the 1960’s G. Neale, M. Clark, and B. Levin, questioning fructose to be natural, the databases on campus, teaming with indicators that Erickson is lying, in some ways worse than tobacco mouth pieces ever did.  Some fifty years after G. Neale, M. Clark, and B. Levin, fifty plus (1996) —  specific of the ingredient ‘naturally’ affecting the liver and intestines, “The ‘hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome’ is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and comprises a wide spectrum of stages of liver disease ranging from simple steatosis to liver cirrhosis. NAFLD of different stages is found in ∼30% of adults and ∼20% in the US population.  Not just a general overnutrition but also an elevated intake of certain macronutrients such as fat and carbohydrates and herein particularly has been claimed to be risk factors for the development for NAFLD; however, the etiology of this disease is still unknown.  The present review outlines some of the potential mechanisms associated with the development of NAFLD and fructose intake with a particular focus on the role of the intestinal barrier functions.  Spruss, A., & Bergheim, I. (2009).  “Dietary fructose and intestinal barrier: potential risk factor in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease”  Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry,  20(9), 657-662. doi:10.1016/j.jnutbio.2009.05.006.  Another, indicating liver function in relation to this ‘natural’ ingredient, “We conclude that even moderate consumption of fructose -containing liquids may lead to the onset of unfavorable changes in the plasma lipid profile and one marker of liver health, independent of significant effects of sweetener consumption on body weight.” Figlewicz, D., Ioannou, G., Bennett Jay, J., Kittleson, S., Savard, C., & Roth, C. (2009).  “Effect of moderate intake of sweeteners on metabolic health in the rat” Physiology & Behavior, (5), 618-624. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.09.016.  How about the heart?  “heightened cardiovascular risk” associated with High Fructose Corn Syrup, Lee, J., Xu, Y., Li, L., Bergman, B., Leitner, J., Greyson, C., et al. (2010). “Multiple abnormalities of myocardial insulin signaling in a porcine model of diet-induced obesity.”  American Journal of Physiology: Heart & Circulatory Physiology, 67(2), H310-H319. doi:10.1152/ajpheart.00359.2009.

While a good stream of other sources fail to paint the rosy picture that Erickson painted, here is where, if you already haven’t connected it, things become good versus evil: the shell-game.  On one slight of hand, the /quality/ hand; there could be no way, unless we get the body count that cigarettes produced, that CRA gets nailed for selling poison.  For every study, the lobbying and PR will, like tobacco (thanks Ronald Reagan), just ratchet up the money poured in, as there so much more of a killing to be made – the murders of these folk Erickson will probably never meet face to face – all done legally.  The second slight of hand, the /quantity/ hand, exasperates the already questionable activity, to the point of being evil.  Again, legally.  It’s a free country here in America, and no one is physically forcing more than CRA’s /understanding/ of “threshold” into the consumer.  Who pray-tell, is standing up for that blindsided consumer, and against that onslaught of misinformation.  That camp is not a big one, at least not a big camp in California.  “Big Soda [..] spent at least $18 million on lobbying and millions more in campaign donations to Congress. […]  Last week, I introduced a bill to tax high fructose corn syrup and other sugars added to soft drinks, fruit juices and sports beverages–a penny for each teaspoon of sweetener. It would generate as much as $1.5 billion a year for parks, recreation and school programs to combat childhood obesity. California, after all, spends $41 billion a year in health care costs related to its overweight citizens.  Even in a state mythically bent toward the cutting edge, passing a soda tax won’t be easy. Big Soda will bristle at any suggestion that Christina Aguilera (who has since traded her Coke creds for the Pepsi Generation) is another Joe Camel. […] The day will come, as it did for tobacco, when the illogic of drinking a can of soda each day will be clear: high concentrations of sweetener delivered in deceptive doses make us fat; fat turns into disease; disease becomes early death.”  Sen. Dean Florez

Refiners Association, for me, isn’t completely erased from that benefit of doubt, even as the indicators ring “POISON,” I should mention in closing.  Stranger things have happened providing an example of the good ebbing over greed.  That said; every time I hear that sniffle, that cough and every time I see that bloat, and continue the registration of other study indications that high fructose corn syrup plays a significant role in the demise of real human beings; that benefit of doubt further erodes, and my distain for careless pitch people, increases.  The battle lines are drawn, two camps.  The First Lady – well, she heads the one for a healthier tomorrow, as well others, some are dedicated in mapping the biological truth.   Then there are others, beholding that other camp.  For that camp, it’s about shell-games.  It’s about making a killing.  Think about that shell-game next time you pick up that Coke-cola ‘classic’ soft-drink.  You know what time it is.  Hit me up, and tell me what’s up with this crazy world.  Might there be that other side, just not making sense.

02
Mar
10

T.A.G. : Your tax dollars /Educating/

In 2001, and for sometime there after, Los Angeles ‘government’ through CBS proxy (and tax dollars), in much the same thinking as the ‘word-ban’ agenda (r-word.org), L.A. Country Board of Supervisors developed and propagated the following /message/; “Totally Against Graffiti: Because there is a difference between Art and Graffiti.” (T.A.G.) Later the by-line modified to “Stop Graffiti and We all win.”  This blog entry looks closer at the science of babble, and as much will reveal how time and time again, word shell-games are used to deceive us.  The implication is that time and money finds the greedy pocket, while the real problem goes on unabated if not becoming worse (in the case at point; worse).  Names are named (sorta), and if doing so produces ‘blow-back’ so be it – it needs to be said.  This two questions are at focus:  Do persons of authority know better?  If not why not, if so, what is to be gained from shell-games?  First a disclaimer, then some background, leading to main analysis, concluding with today’s news and tomorrows implications.

With the exception of a few degenerates, no one wants to see the community assailed with piss-mark-like writing on the properties and public structures in plain view.  A more radical view, is that committing vandalism through graffiti technique is a form of terrorism – and should be treated as such by law enforcement.  That said, and this blog entry serves as a clear caveat; there is a difference between vandalism through graffiti technique – and graffiti.  Think it just pointless parsing, with no repercussions for over-generalization?  Read on.  In explaining the importance of Kenneth Burke, Ernest Wrage, and Loren Reid, the Quarterly Journal Of Speech article written by Malcolm O. Silars in 1964 “Rhetoric as Act” provides us clues of things to come in the “technique” and “anti-technique” struggle within communication.  Specifically, the consequence of “sowing ambiguity to reap the products of confusion” on a political level care of the McCarthyism movement, explains Silars, and sadly that “few dug deep enough into McCarthy’s rhetoric to see what they really had to combat.” (pp280).  This, sowing, simple involves equivocation to circumvent whatever antinomy that exists within the community.  If a for-profit entity does it as means to sell a product – it’s a commercial.  If a not-for-profit entity, such as a government employees this communication in order to influence opinion – it’s propaganda.  Silar brought out a simple warning about the complexity involved in message: “The recognition of rhetoric as act might seem to be only a semantic nicety, but for the rhetorical critic it has far reaching implication.”  Gross misrepresentation of message consequence being the issue – one only need to look at John Yoo’s /interpretation/ (topic shell-game) as the modern day Torquemada effort.  We are better than that.  Some degree of accountability is what is needed.  For the most part, CBS got paid for the topic-shell game, tax payers got the bill, and city officials patted themselves on the back – proclaim campaign ‘success’ while, the vandalism exploded – just exploded, with no statistic to the contrary.  Blurring the line pays. It might not be right, but it pays.

The Wall Street Journal today, has covered via exceptional journalism (Gabriele Steinhauser); the tale of a struggle between the new skool and the old skool camps of graffiti traditions.  “Robbo” to many is a hero, and it’s just too bad L.A. thus far has invoked, rather than truth, for political points squandered tax dollars via propaganda.  This is the same town from which the band Everest emerged as a fix for our ears.  Now if we could just get a fix for our vision before things get much worse.  For the ARTIST Robbo, the comeback was sweet – the mess of Bansky checked.  Now if we could only get that political and educational equivalent here in Los Angeles.  Retract that campaign, or explain that campaign.  They ought to, by now, know better.

Images imported from drseussjuice.com

21
Feb
10

The CPAC News: Volumes About the Institution of Higher Education, And Our Disdain For Babble.

This blog entry, refers to the news on CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) meeting concluding this Saturday at the Washington Marriot Wardman Park Hotel.  It should be disclaimed that I wasn’t invited nor did I attend.  That said, I wanted to better understand how, and why did the Democrats lose so much ‘capital’ in such a short amount of time, and to that end, this blog entry looks a bit closer than the mainstream media sound-bites – admittedly mind you; only a bit.  First up is the perspective on CPAC from Benjamin Sarlin of The Daily Beast, “Young Republicans Clash.”  While it is not a particularly informative piece, he hits on the emerging social schism which if ignored, will shred apart the already frayed Democrats.  Here at CSULA that ignorance might be magnified, ten-fold, though 2012 isn’t here just yet.  If anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, the face of politics has gotten a lot younger, and while we caught a glimpse of that change in 08, this transformation as well involves a conservative make-over fielding a younger voice.  At the CPAC conference just concluded, the pay-for-play gang got a black eye, even CPAC’s David Keene by way of snub from Sarah Palin.  On the face of it, it looks as if this infighting bodes well for Obama, but nothing could be further from the truth.  A lost message and GOP nonsense produced an outsider straw-poll win via Ron Paul, according to DB “On foreign policy, the non-interventionist Ron Paul’s youth-driven movement created a bizarre parallel universe within the conference, helping their idol win the CPAC straw poll, beating Mitt Romney. While Newt Ginrgich repeatedly bashed Democrats as soft on national security on the main stage Saturday, the Paul group Campaign for Liberty hosted an anti-war panel called, “You’ve Been Lied To: Why Real Conservatives are Against the War on Terror.” It filled a smaller ballroom to maximum capacity with a cheering, overwhelmingly young audience” (Sarlin, 2010, 02, 20).  The backlash, in other words, for the big-spending and big-government instituted by the Bush era, is far from over it seems.  A wave of voters are being groomed by way of grassroots efforts like the Tea party movement and FreedomWorks, and this extremely loosely-connected youth uprising are taking aim at babble and ‘ideology betrayal.’  To this group a common theme, at least for now, units them as we now note the Dana Milbank piece “At CPAC, Glen Beck scolds the Republican Party” for the Washington Post.  Is the brand name career look threatened?  Milbank’s take on the conservatives attending; “A majority of voters said they wished the Republicans had a better field of potential candidates” (Sarlin, 2010, 02, 20).  Further from Kenneth P. Vogel “Grass roots gain ground at CPAC” for Politico.com, “These activists generally have been leery of the Republican Party, as well as established big-name conservative groups and leaders who made their reputations in the Washington game, particularly those seen as tainted by a pay-to-play Beltway culture or linked to a George W. Bush-era GOP establishment viewed as having abandoned its principles.”  (Vogel, 2010, 02, 20).  A segment of the CPAC conference I did catch was a speech by charismatic Marco Rubio, and to hear the crowd cheer him is to forget his financial backing dwarfs both Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney – the cheering quite exuberant with anti-Obama energy.  More important is that his speech, less the now quite old ‘snow-storm bogs-Washington’ quip; at the mention of “submissive America” within the “international community” (think: corrupt Karzai, nuclear weapon Iran; currency peg and cyber-threat China) resonated enough to draw a long and loud applause.  The bog down in healthcare; that also didn’t help out the O man’s cause of late, and in the making is a ground swell for a change not just of boring babble to more eloquent babble (in ANY party flavor), but the coming of trouble for the do-nothing-but-spend Democrats.  Something is got to give on the White House front, soon.  The Politico piece on Erick Erickson of RedState.com, “you’re going to see a much more diffuse conservative movement that is being led in large part from outside of Washington and is much more in line from the grass roots.”  (Vogel, 2010, 02, 20).

It’s at this point that I call, as every blog entry, for the readers input.  As I see it, the liberals spent way too much capital in the blame-game, regardless of the mind-numbingly recklessness by Obama’s predecessor having merit.  Prosperity is prosperity, and I contend the administration bandages in domestic policy are not forward looking, at all, and in foreign affairs, while I am glad other countries better ‘like’ us; there is something to be said for respect.  Maybe we want it both ways; the right influence without a career criminal – I mean politician – promoting social fat.  I am not sure how it’s going to get down in 2012, and I am pretty sure the pay-for-play gang is far from being on the proverbial ropes.  What is certain, is that babble has run its course, even with the campaign judicial opinion of late.  Up has become down, liberals have stalled action ‘progressive’ and the conservatives, in no small part college students abounding, are set to overrun even the GOP.  Am I missing a piece to this social puzzle?  Where does this schism leave public education, really?  Where does this wave leave activism?  Did Obama drop the ball in disability rights, and if so could conservatives be the ones, to pick it up?  Lastly and certainly not least: Does Marco Rubio actually have better hair, than Sen. John Edwards?  Hit me up, and tell me what’s up with this crazy world.

19
Feb
10

Hateful Words Are In

On this blog our most popular post so far was “retard” circle-jerk; Selling Blame in Place of Claim.  That is obvious because of the hits it is still generating and because the press has covered the use of the word “retard.”  Yet in democracy the fact that we can discuss this topic, and dialog about what words we use is extremely healthy for a democratic society.

Another big news story is about the attorney who called the woman “wacko” who shot the professors who denied her tenure, brings this point back to mind.  Is this professor wacko?  The fact is that in everyday language you hear hate language daily.  Hate language is regrettably part of human language.  Now maybe some learned “brain” (probably a derogatory comment)  out there can tell me differently, but I would expect that hate words are common in all societies.

The power of language to displace and subjugate people has always thrived.  We are hateful people and we say hateful things – OMG.  Now some of you may be saying hateful things right now. “ #^$*&^” sounds good.  Others may catch the humor.  Hell half of our humor is based on hate type language: stereotypes of ethnic groups, sexual harassment, anti-race and anti –blond or lawyer jokes.  I’m sure tax men have gotten their share of hate language – If you have a good joke that contains hate language feel free to post it.

Let’s look at the definition posted at Urban Dictionary which defines the word wacko:

1. crazy person
2. someone whacked on drugs
3. a stupid act

Example:  When Regan was president, he let all the wackos out on the street with no assistance.

Wacko is one of many hate words thrown around.  The urban dictionary lists the following when you look up wacko (not synonyms):

crazy insane nuts jacko nutcase psycho freak weirdo michael jackson jackson stupid loser loco barack obama moron nutjob mental bitch weird mj crackhead idiot loony pedophile psychotic wacked bizarre creep jihad batshit bonkers john mccain john kerry michael wierd kook deranged faggot sicko kook fringe left angeles slimes goof republican mangaram wingnut anti-capitalist hollywood cnn religion satan

Now it appears that in urban hate language even out politicians’ names become words of hate.

Here in the word of intellectuals, we discuss hate words, hate language, and hate crimes.

Karl Blomberg wrote a piece for the the Miami Student when covering a lecture series on the power of language.  His piece specifically covered a lecture by Dr. Kira Hall, associate professor of linguistics and anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  She discussed the impact of hate language on those who are gay.  Those sponsoring the lecture series  hoped  “that people will come away with an understanding of how language can be used at the same time to hurt and oppress people.”

Learning secondary languages to be able to speak hatefully of others is sometimes done.  A person writes: In my family, when we spoke English we were generally being nice. For the nasty backbiting stuff we had a pool of languages that would always leave somebody out of the loop – Hungarian, Yiddish, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. I learned Romanian completely through the bitter invective of my Grandmother, who hadn’t taught it to her own kids, who in turn, used Russian as a secret language of hate. As adults it came as a surprise to find everybody in the family was fully conversant in Spanish — no one ever told anybody else, because it was only used to whisper nasty comments about people in private. And my Mom has just started to teach me abusive language in Turkish that she learned in the 1940s working at her family’s Sephardic Turkish restaurant in Budapest. (refer to http://www.languagehat.com/archives/002370.php)

Now hate words are insulting to those who are belittled by them, but Hate words can be reversed when used by those who have been demeaned by them according to some.

It may be good to talk about the effects of hate words, and the empowerment of people to use hate words to reverse them, but to many of us, the hate words are personally disgusting.  The N word for instance was taught to me as a term to be avoided, so when I hear it, I recoil.  That is how people feel about “retard” and a whole host of other words.  Sensible people realize that it such terms are socially repugnant.

How about you?  Hit me up with your comment.  You can use as much hate language as necessary.  This is a blog without biased backers – but if someone wants to pay us millions, we will censor all hate comments – we are Americans aren’t we?  “Mark (our  student editor and author of the popular “circle jerk piece), if we get a sponsor I’m giving more coffee money!

18
Feb
10

Are college students ready for the job market?

Most students are so involved with their academic work, that they give little thought to being prepared for employment.  Isn’t that really the goal, not the diploma, but the steady income, the beginning of a career?  In today’s competitive job market, unprepared students will have a whale of a time getting hired into jobs they want.  Students I have worked with who take time to plan for a career goal usually take steps to ensure they have more than a Bachelor’s or Master’s  degree when they leave school.  The smart students are getting quality internships at agencies and nonprofits, co-opting in the world of business, technology and the sciences, and arranging summer jobs.  A USA Today article demonstrates that even getting those opportunities does not mean you will get a job in today’s market, so those without the added experience have virtually no shot at good jobs:

Employment is not handed out to those with degrees.  Jobs are given to those with the best experience and a degree.  So getting yourself some professional references who can vouch for your reputation is essential.  Who would you hire if you interviewed 100 people :  the student straight out of college with a 4.0 and no experience, or the student who has work experience and good reference and that degree, regardless of the GPA?  Haven’t you all heard that it’s who you know, not whatpicture of job market recently you know?  But with this depression like economy, and the layoff of so many experienced workers, students are competing against those with a fuller resume and more job experience.  Zac Bissonnette of the Beast writes: “Is this The worst year to graduate from college?

No wonder that college students with disabilities are impacted.  How much more difficult is it for someone with a disability to obtain a job in the first place.  Yet, it is the lack of preparation that really places all students in the worst place for getting a good job.  The struggle is the same for all college students, and those who haven’t prepared for work and who have struggled to obtain their degree may not have the essential skills for getting that job.

Since the 1970s, the federal government has worked to improve the hiring of persons with disabilities. The fact is that the more severely disabled someone is, the lower chance they have of finding employment.  Yet, since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, states have set up an agency usually called the Vocational Rehabilitation Program to help these individuals.  You may know of it by DOR, VR or other acronyms.  The point of the program is to prepare persons with disabilities for professional work. 

Now at many universities, an added benefit for students who are enrolled in the California’s vocational rehabilitation program, is campus program called Workability, which is funded by the state through the California State Department of Rehabilitation.  At four year universities, these programs are known as WAIV (WorkAbility IV).  Programs also exist for high school seniors, community college and trade schools. 

The WAIV program at Cal State University Los Angeles has been successful in helping to place students with disabilities into jobs in the greater Los Angeles area.  Being in a large metropolitan area has something to do with that success, but the dedication and efforts of the staff are a primary reasons students get over that transitional hurdle of getting from degree to career.

The WAIV program can help students who are seniors or in their last year of graduate work to be prepared for the job market.  Skills learned are job searching strategies, interview techniques, identification of internships, and resume development.  Staff help prepare students by performing mock interviews, by reviewing resumes and job developing.

Essentially any person with a disability may benefit from these additional services, but it depends on whether the state finds you eligible for services.  CSULA’s students with disabilities can meeting with our WAIV staff or call Department of Rehabilitation to find out about their eligibility requirements.   Students at other universities should contact their state rehabilitation program for WorkAbility or other vocation services that may be avaialble on their campus.You should do this when you consider going to college.  These state-funded programs often pay for tuition, books and fees and other essential college expenses. 

Related Story

Student sues Monroe college when she doesn’t get a job.  

The student states “It doesn’t make any sense: They went to school for four years, and then they come out working at McDonald’s and Payless. That’s not what they planned.”

 Job Outlook for College Graduates 2009  from the U.S.  Department of Labor states that in May 2008, the median annual wage for all workers was $32,390.  Read more to learn specifics.

17
Feb
10

“retard” circle-jerk; Selling Blame in Place of Claim

For those that haven’t followed the “retard” debate, it runs in brief as the following; the pejorative term recently surfaced in the movies within “Tropic Thunder” — and more recent according to a report from the Wall Street Journal

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703808904575025030384695158.html

the White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was said to have remarked about the liberal camp resisting a proposed healthcare reform, “F—ing retarded.”  Since that time, a campaign has sprung up concerned with banning the word “retard” claiming that such a term, is hate speech.  In defense of Emanuel,  Christopher M. Fairman of the Washington Post sent a shot across the proverbial absolutist bow, the opine making clear that context counts and word bans, government legislated or other wise, are not in the best interest of a democracy, “Freedom of expression has come at a dear price, and it is not worth abridging [..]”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021103896_2.html?hpid=opinionsbox1&sid=ST2010021403772

In that same publication, on the lasted front of the word battle comes Michael Gerson on Feb 14th 2010 with opine,

“Defending the word ‘retard’ is not heroic”

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2010/02/defending_the_word_retard_is_n.html?sid=ST2010021403772

…his rant, is a useful example of the perils in confusing rhetoric with information.  If the left is to take on a degree of heat in the circle-jerk-homology proscriptions smelling of Marxism; that heat can be explained by looking at the Gerson, argument.

First, a qualification noted by Fairman “While the N-word endures as an insult, it is so stigmatized that its use is no longer tolerated in public discourse.  This is a positive step for us all [..]” and goes on to caution that word ‘containment’ however can have blow-back, fine. Somehow as clear as that point was, out comes the narrow-minded, need-to-see-it-absolutist response, as this is how Gerson interprets Fairman, ” He argues that the r-word must be rescued from the terrible fate of the f-word.  Even the n-word has “varied and evolving uses. […] The comparison between the r-word and the n-word, according to Fairman, is “overblown.”   It may not be the most popular position, and it may not even be “heroic” to assert some common sense in this matter, but Fairman did and he was fair.  The Gersons out there, on the other hand, are as I see it, the real enemies, and I will even include Timothy Shriver on that bandwagon of distracting babblers.  It isn’t that Gerson just twisted the context of Fairman, nor that Shriver’s position fielded on the same day in the Washington Post, “The bigotry behind the word ‘retard’” as well just pitched the circle-jerk of facts;

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/14/AR2010021402893.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

..that has me keyboard tapping away with sorting semantics;  it’s what’s at stake, issues that matter, that become left in the dark with the likes of people, claiming to be advocates for change — that keeps me up.  “We are fighting a word because it represents one of the most stubborn and persistent stigmas in history”  Shriver remarked of Fairman.  Really?  I was under the impression, sex inequality propagated through words by Freire, for example, a more “persistent” stigma — college (CSULA at least) can’t seem to get enough of Freire’s take.  Further, I was under the impression, racial, economic, and religious stigmas were far, far, more “stubborn” than the graces of mental and physical impairments.   A lot is going on, and screaming victim-hood, like Marxism, rather than adding to self-reflection, just adds to distraction, and worse — considers the madness of FURTHER limits to our freedom of speech.  The White House Chief of Staff was out of line, way way out, and I think that is not in dispute.  The term, “retard” has a negative connotation — again, not in dispute.  Over-blowing an incident, intentionally misrepresenting a perspective, pushing screed into college text, screaming bloody murder — it’s what makes the left look bad.  We got enough equivocation to spin blinding circles around the most axiomatic belief, and if there should be some word ban, let it be a ban on the absolutist rhetoric.   College is tough for anyone, even more so difficult for the student with disabilities.  How about that mind-blowing long staircase linking campus housing to classrooms at CSULA; not an access ramp in sight.  Funding cuts, etc; the list is long people!!  Sure would be something for these advocates to import any number of real issues.  Signing some nonsense pledge amounts to nothing but momentary relief from that Hollywood NOS syndrome.  What is needed, now and again, is issue clarity — not more babble.  How about it?  Are the victim-crats done, and real voices coming into that discourse fold?  Hit me up, and tell me what’s up with this crazy world.




speaknstomp@gmail.com

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