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Free exchange of ideas? Socrates' novel idea comes to NC and FL

"The long march through the institutions, in other words, was complete," writes Christopher Rufo in his article linked below. But now that woke-ism is established, like it or not, it has become the establishment. As the '60s well taught us, no self-respecting youth wants to play in the old guard sandbox.


The tamped-down notion of open debate is popping up on campuses. What we elders once took for granted and allowed to be trampled underfoot like an old hat is poking its nose out like Punxsutawney Phil on Ground Hog's Day.


In January Ron DeSantis unveiled Florida's version of the “Hillsdale of the South.” Now, North Carolina is reviving "the academic ideal of a campus as a haven for free inquiry and debate."


Meanwhile, word is spreading about the mismanaged Electronic Registration Information Center. As Alabama joins Louisiana in terminating its agreement with the opaque, third-party, Soros-funded organization, authorities in other states are asking: Does ERIC represent the largest government-sponsored data breach of personal identifying information in history? Could ERIC be bad for America?


Something tells me we're about to find out. Meanwhile, I'm going to dig out my bell-bottomed jeans and see if the seams can be let out.


For election integrity in Michigan,


Patrice Johnson, chair

Michigan Fair Elections

Pure Integrity Michigan Elections



UNC Takes on the University Echo Chamber

A public university has a novel idea for creating a true marketplace for ideas.

by The Editorial Board

Jan. 26, 2023

Stanford University has taken down its ‘Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative’ site, following feedback that the effort was 'counter to inclusivity.' Images: AP/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly


Length (3 minutes)


Progressive politics has dominated elite universities since before the term woke was coined. But one university is trying to revive the academic ideal of a campus as a haven for free inquiry and debate. On Thursday the University of North Carolina board of trustees voted 12-0 to create a new school committed to free expression in higher education. [editor bold]


UNC will establish the School of Civic Life and Leadership and plans to hire professors from across the ideological spectrum to teach in such academic departments as history, literature, philosophy, political science and religion. These disciplines have become enforcers of ideological uniformity at most schools. Board Chair David Boliek and Vice Chair John Preyer tell us that the idea is to end “political constraints on what can be taught in university classes.”


Rather than replacing current professors or creating faculty turf battles, UNC plans to create a discrete program with its own dean and at least 20 new professors to build a syllabus free from ideological enforcers. Students will be able to choose the new classes to fulfill university core requirements. Those who aren’t interested can stay in the existing courses.


According to a College Fix survey of 14 humanities and STEM departments at UNC, Democratic professors outnumber Republicans 16 to 1. In the English department, the ratio is 23 to 1 and in Chemistry 28-1. At private and Ivy League schools the ratios are often steeper. By comparison, at Ohio State the faculty ratio is 7 to 1 and University of Nebraska-Omaha 5-1. Partisan affiliation isn’t always a measure of intellectual conformity, but it is indicative.


Most Americans have read about professors denied tenure for their political views or visiting speakers shouted down. Students too often feel obliged to self-censor for social as well as academic reasons, and those who do speak know they can face harassment on social media as well as disciplinary action for words that offend dominant political sensibilities.


In 2015 the University of Chicago committed itself to freedom of expression on campus, and dozens of universities, including Columbia, Smith and Princeton, signed on to the Chicago Statement. Many have failed to live up to it, notably Princeton with its mistreatment of former classics professor Joshua Katz.


In their new experiment, UNC will have students debate openly. “I don’t want to indoctrinate on the right anymore than I want to indoctrinate on the left,” says Mr. Preyer.


U.S. post-secondary education was once a great American cultural and competitive advantage, but it has deteriorated as progressive views and increasingly abstruse woke politics have taken over schools and departments. Too many university presidents and boards have surrendered rather than speak up, even when core American principles like free speech are trampled on.


Credit to the UNC board for fighting for those principles and free inquiry. North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the nation’s oldest public university, and if change can happen there, maybe it can happen anywhere.



Recapturing Higher Education

On the plan to transform New College of Florida into a classical liberal arts institution

by Christopher F. Rufo January 12, 2023


The most significant political story of the past half-century is the activist Left’s “long march through the institutions.” Beginning in the 1960s, left-wing activists and intellectuals, inspired by theorists such as Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci and New Left philosopher Herbert Marcuse, made a concerted effort to embed their ideas in education, government, philanthropy, media, and other important sectors.


DeSantis raised the stakes and proposed, for the first time, a strategy for reversing the long march through the institutions, beginning with what Marcuse believed was the initial revolutionary institution: the university. The governor appointed a slate of new trustees to the board of the New College of Florida, a notoriously left-wing campus, similar to that of Evergreen State in Olympia, Washington. DeSantis tasked the new board with transforming it into, to quote the governor’s chief of staff, the “Hillsdale of the South”—in other words, a classical liberal arts college that provides a distinctly traditional brand of education and scholarship.


Why the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) is bad for America: Reason #7: It allows non-citizens to vote


‘We Are Voting’: Minnesota Unconcerned About Noncitizens Casting Ballots, Despite DACA Recipient’s Testimony

"Our office has no indication that noncitizen voting is a problem in Minnesota or nationally,” says a spokesperson for Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, pictured Nov. 3, 2020



Apportionment and the census: Fundamental fairness to U.S. citizens and democratic process

--One of the drawbacks of apportionment today is the large number of aliens in the country, particularly illegal aliens, who distort the representation that states have in the House because the Census Bureau includes them in the population count used to determine how many representatives each state should have.

How bad is the distortion? A 2015 report by the Congressional Research Service estimated that if apportionment after the 2010 census had been based solely on the citizen population, it would have shifted seven congressional seats among 11 states. California, a sanctuary state that obstructs enforcement of federal immigration law, would have lost four seats, and Florida, New York and Texas would have each lost one seat. Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia would have each gained a seat. With the huge influx of illegal aliens in the past decade, that distortion is no doubt even bigger today.

The growing alien population is unfairly and unjustly altering the political representation of the states in the House of Representatives, cheating citizens and devaluing their votes in favor of aliens who have no right to participate in governing this country.


Takeaways:


1. Congress should amend federal law to do two things. First, it should require the secretary of commerce to add a citizenship question back into the census form for the 2030 census and every census thereafter.


2. Congress should pass legislation changing the apportionment formula to mandate that it be based solely on the citizen population of the country.


Other News of Note:


Clerk pleads no contest in 2020 Flint-area ballot sabotage (msn.com)

--FLINT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A woman who was a public official in a Michigan community admitted Wednesday that she broke a seal on a ballot box to ensure that votes could not be recounted in her 2020 race, prosecutors said.


Michigan Legislature approves $1 billion in tax relief; GOP decries fairness

--Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Porter Township, said the retirement tax changes would primarily benefit individuals with large pensions from government jobs and would only help one-third of the seniors in Michigan.


“How is that fair? How is that equitable?" Nesbitt asked.


Ranked Choice Voting Is a Bad Choice from the Heritage Foundation


You will not believe what “reformers” have devised to tinker with and manipulate our elections. It is called ranked choice voting (or “instant runoff voting”)—but it is really a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win elections. In the end, it is all about political power, not about what is best for the American people and for preserving our great republic. So-called reformers want to change process rules so they can manipulate election outcomes to obtain power.


"KEY TAKEAWAYS

  1. Ranked choice voting is a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win.

  2. It obscures true debates and issue-driven dialogs among candidates and eliminates genuine binary choices between two top-tier candidates.

  3. It also disenfranchises voters, because ballots that do not include the two ultimate finalists are cast aside to manufacture a faux majority for the winner."





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