Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Losing Your Job To Student Debt






By Professor Doom



     Government stupidity clearly knows no bounds. We have tens of millions of people now with student loan debt, a debt which is often too large to pay back thanks to government interference, and cannot be cleared via bankruptcy. But the government wants “its” money, and gets to create the laws. We’re already seeing students loans now go beyond death (again, stupid…), but that’s just not enough:




     In times past, there were debtor’s prisons, but we abandoned those because we realized that a debtor has even less chance of paying back his loans when in prison, and having The State take care of the debtor only added insult to injury.

      Today we have too-large loans so students can get an education, or in this case a job license, which leads to a job which doesn’t pay enough to cover the interest on the loan.

     And the government response to this idiocy is to take away the license so the victim will be even less likely to get a job which can help pay off the loan. As I so often say when looking at our student loan system, I can’t make this stuff up.

As many as 100 health care workers have lost their license to practice in Florida because they can’t repay their student loans…



      I know, a hundred people is a piffling number, but it was only a few years ago that less than a hundred senior citizens were having their social security checks claimed to pay off student loans…and today it’s tens of thousands. It isn’t that hard to see these problems coming from years away, and with well over 45,000,000 people with student loan debt today, we can expect this issue to get much, much, worse in the coming years.

The move to suspend health care licenses comes after federal student loan companies spent years lobbying states to adopt laws to punish those who default on student loans by taking away their professional licenses.

But an ABC Action News review found Florida is the only state enforcing those laws.



    The gentle reader should note carefully: the laws allowing this are already on the books, it’s only Florida enforcing the laws. As more and more states become strapped for cash thanks to our failing government pension system, you can expect other states to “suddenly” start enforcing these laws as well.

…12 other states (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas) still have the power to take away health care licenses for unpaid student loans,…



     None of this stuff needs to be a surprise to anyone, honest. If you have a student loan, and a job license, note carefully those other states and see if you can move out of them. Of course, nothing can prevent more states from enacting these laws.



…state’s Board of Health estimates it suspended between 90 and 120 health care licenses – including professional certifications for registered nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants, pharmacists and opticians



     These are real jobs, by the way, we’re not talking putting baristas out of work here.

And four states – Montana, Oklahoma, New Jersey and North Dakota – have already repealed laws allowing health care license suspensions for unpaid student loans.



     One of the real benefits of our system of government is each state can operate independently (subject to basic rights), and so people worried about this problem could just move to another state. Granted, our citizens keep voting to give themselves less and less independence…imagine how devastating it would be if there were a Federal law allowing licenses to be seized for student debts?  There’d be no escape at all.

      It’d be almost as devastating as if there were a Federal system of student loans, guaranteeing any school massive amounts of loot no matter what state the school was in. Oh, wait…

“It’s trying to take too much away,” Picone said. “This person may end up on Medicaid, receive food stamps. All this is more money that we will have to pay.”



     Yeah, no kidding. The fact that health care workers are being targeted for removal of those oh-so-expensive licenses sure doesn’t help either, as it inevitably will drive up health care costs.



And under Florida law, once the state suspends a license for student loan default, the only way to get it back is to pay a fine equal to 10 percent of the balance, plus state investigation costs.



     Yes, yes it can get more stupid. They take away the victim’s source of money, and if the victim wants it back, he has to pay a lump sum of…money.



The U.S. Department of Education estimates more than 10 percent of student loan borrowers are in default.



     Yeah, “more than 10 percent” is one way to put it, though a more realistic estimate is past 30 percent. There is a wide range of “programs” to hide the defaults, either by having the victim go back to school (say, for 1 class a semester for the next decade), or devastating “income based repayment” plans which inevitably put the victim even deeper in debt, even as, technically, there is no default. There’s a reason why Millenials expect to die in debt, after all.

The federal government estimates Americans owe $1.2 trillion in student debt – a figure now larger than outstanding U.S. credit card and vehicle debt combined.



    I’m quoting a fairly recent article, but once again the numbers are off. A more realistic estimate of total student debt is $1.5 trillion, not that it much matters at either level, as we know much of this won’t be repaid, any more than the national debt ever will be. The best these victims can hope for is to pay interest for the rest of their lives even as their debts rise and rise, much as this is the best the taxpayer can hope for.

     Granted, the Federal government can just keep printing money, so I guess it’ll never default in the most literal sense. It’s a shame there’s no law to take away their printing presses, but not a surprise since the government would have to pass such a law. It’s a double shame that victims of the student debt scam can find themselves not only deep in debt, but unable to get a decent job to pay off that debt.

     Of course, we could just end the student loan scam so that future generations won’t be destroyed…











Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Look At The Most Predatory Student Loan Lender






By Professor Doom



     Most people are entirely unaware of how serious the student loan problem is, so allow me to put it in context. Smoking tobacco is universally agreed to be a very bad thing to do. We have almost 38 million smokers in this country, and over 80% of smokers regret taking up the habit.

      We have about fifty million people in this country with student loan debt, and round a third of them regret going to college and getting those loans.

     While student loans aren’t quite as much a public concern as smoking, it’s clearly a big issue. While we’re warned literally on every box of cigarettes about smoking, and certainly told often enough about it, we get very few warnings about student loans, and certainly no warnings appear on student loan checks.

     Of course, those cigarette warnings only appear due to government force. Why are there no commensurate warnings about student loans? A recent article answers this question, while looking at an extremely predatory student loan lender:


--I guess the title gives it away.



      Part of what makes the student loans so deadly is their inescapability, the latter provided through government force. You can’t get out of them through bankruptcy, and even so-called “loan forgiveness” programs generally have no forgiveness for 99.5% of applicants.

    New research from Adam Looney and Vivien Lee of the Brookings Institution illustrates just how out-of-control the parental loan program has grown. In 2014, the average parent borrower held $38,812 in Parent PLUS debt at the conclusion of her child’s education—an increase of more than $17,000 from just three years prior.



     Wow, a 78% increase in 3 years. If that keeps up, the average borrower would have well over a billion dollars in debt in less than 60 years. I’ll leave it to the gentle reader to check my math there, but bottom line it’s very clear this can’t keep going forever, there’s just no way our economic system will tolerate loaning out a billion dollars each to thousands of people like that. I hope.

   Because the federal government effectively imposes no caps on Parent PLUS lending, the program gives colleges broad latitude to raise tuition…



     This is exactly the problem we have: no matter what tuition is, the loan will be made to cover it. While I’m confident this problem will be fixed before a four-year degree costs a billion dollars, what’s this “great government program” doing to people today?

Despite slower rates of repayment, parental loans actually make money for the government. Taxpayers net 13 cents for every dollar disbursed, and parent loans are the only category of federal student loans to turn a profit. This profitability is because parents pay higher interest rates (currently 7.6 percent) and are ineligible for several loan forgiveness programs that student borrowers can access.



     In case the reader missed it, it’s the government that’s the predatory lender here, and it’s clear the government is making money off this. I trust now it’s clear why there are no government-enforced warnings on student loans.

This profitability is because parents pay higher interest rates (currently 7.6 percent) and are ineligible for several loan forgiveness programs that student borrowers can access.



     I dispute the success of the programs alleged above, but there are a great number of ways students can delay/defer repayments of loans, the most common being simply going back to school, as well as “income based repayment plans.” Both end up trapping students in mountains of unpayable debt, of course.

     Here’s the real problem with these loans:

In 2015, 18 percent of families receiving a Parent PLUS loan had an expected family contribution of zero. In other words, the federal government determines that hundreds of thousands of parents can contribute nothing to their children’s college education, and then turns around and gives those same families tens of thousands of dollars in high-interest loans.

     To summarize: the government knows the parents can’t afford to pay, but loans them the money anyway. How is this not a recipe for financial disaster?

      I really should mention: I have no problem with private banks making private loans to students. I think it unwise, but as long as there’s no government system forcing the parents to pay it back, I suspect many of these loans would not be made…tuition would not be allowed to skyrocket…and the loans wouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

      Of course, having the government involved changes everything:

If parents fall into default, the government has the power to garnish their wages and seize their tax refunds, charging collection fees of up to 20 percent along the way. And other questionable practices abound; a New America study found that financial aid award letters sometimes do not even make it clear to families that Parent PLUS loans are loans.

If any entity but the federal government were making loans on these terms, it would be labeled a predatory lender and incur the full wrath of regulators at every level of government.

--emphasis added.



      It isn’t simply that our government is a predatory lender, it’s also that there’s no way to stop it. While a business engaging in these practices would be shut down, that’s just not an option for our government (Trump’s activities aside, though his “shut down” isn’t nearly good enough for anyone with Libertarian leanings).

            As always, I submit that we need to end these government loan programs, as this would do more for our citizens, and for our system of higher education, than anything else. The article knows such a helpful idea will take as much Herculean effort to implement as building a border wall:

But eliminating Parent PLUS loans with no replacement is a nonstarter in a divided Congress. It probably wouldn’t go far even under a united Republican government, given that the GOP’s 2017 proposal to overhaul the federal role in higher education did not eliminate Parent PLUS loans and still could not attract any Democratic supporters. Ending the predatory parent loan program will require compromises.



     Indeed, stopping the student loan scam is a political nonstarter…but if things continue, the average loan per parent in this system will be over a billion dollars. Stopping the student loan scam may be impossible politically, but eventually it will stop in reality.

     Please let it be soon.









Thursday, February 14, 2019

Daughters Coming Home From College With Mustaches Is A Thing Now






By Professor Doom



     The gender dysphoria madness affecting our culture is a bit of a puzzle to me. Yes, I knew about people who wanted a sex change, thirty or more years ago…but they were rare things, and I couldn’t claim to have even been in the same room as, much less met, such a person until just a few years ago.

      Added to this mix is there seems to be a great number of people who think, maybe, they might be the opposite gender, and just aren’t sure. I hardly know what to make of it. Is it truly a result of school indoctrination, or are there some chemical additives nowadays that affect some people more than others?

      The current wave of gender dysphoric children do little to answer my question—children are more vulnerable to indoctrination than adults, but also have been exposed to any alleged chemicals for a greater proportion of their lives (particularly the early years, which strike me as more capable of affecting one’s sexuality).

      A recent article leans me back towards indoctrination, if it is to believed:




      The College Fix, where I’ve taken the above, is a credible site, I’ve backtracked a number of their articles’ claims and found they’re more accurate than many sites (and far better than mainstream media, an admittedly low bar).

     ‘She went from hating white males to now wanting to become one’



     The above is my first concern here. It’s hardly a secret that white males, males in general even, are second-class citizens on many campuses. If we were talking about indoctrination, one might expect, then, that this article should be covering sons coming home with breasts.

     At least, if males and females were equally vulnerable to indoctrination, and males and females were equally represented on campus. The latter is definitely not true, but the former? My own eyeballs, however, have seen more females with gender dysphoria or at least thinking they might have it, than males. For the sake of argument, then, I’m willing to concede females are easier to talk into thinking they’re the wrong gender than males (although perhaps someone might tell such females that such a vulnerability means they are, in fact, female…).

     In fact, a recent column in The Wall Street Journal reports that “health plans at 86 colleges—including those of nearly every Ivy League school—cover not only cross-sex hormones but surgery as well.”



      Arg. It seems every week I have to fight with my (very expensive) insurance for basic treatments and medications which have been long been established as effective for my endless cancer treatments.

      Meanwhile, our college students are getting sex-change surgery approved? This is nuts, especially when suicide rates for post-op transsexuals are higher than for pre-op.

      Insurance companies aren’t stupid, they would only cover this if university admin told them to do so, and were willing to pay extra for this clearly very questionable procedure for many people. What is wrong with these leaders?

     I’m told there’s nothing wrong with people wanting to change their gender…although if this were the case this should be considered elective treatment, and not covered by insurance. But I digress.

     The piece featured the phenomenon of “rapid onset gender dysphoria,” described as overwhelmingly afflicting girls who then receive the full support of the medical community.



     Rapid onset? Then we are talking about indoctrination. Just as indoctrination can, over a relatively brief period of time, convince a person 4 lights are in fact 5 lights, so too I can believe even one’s own perceived proper gender can be changed as well.

     The article has a few anecdotes, but one thing struck me:

Among the issues it covers, 4thWaveNow chronicles the same trend The Wall Street Journal recently reported on as well: “When Your Daughter Defies Biology.”



      4thwavenow is a website/community for parents who are seeing their college children suddenly “converted” to being transgender. Much like the “autism occurring right after vaccination” stories were just isolated anecdotes until the parents started to form communities, identifying just how often parents were seeing with their own eyes their kids turning autistic immediately after vaccination, so too are we seeing citizens, and not mainstream organizations, identifying this trend.

     4thwavenow gives a report of what someone is seeing at her college:

By one month into my freshman year, the number of trans people I knew personally or by association was growing steadily. The school is small enough that even if you don’t know someone by name, you’ve probably seen them around. There were many boys wearing eyeliner but those were boys. There were girls wearing eyeliner that were also boys. Boys with small beards that were actually girls. And everything in between. One of my roommates started dating a “cis-passing” trans boy. Someone I met at the beginning of the year whose name was Tim would now like me to relearn that name as Rebecca…



     Trangenderism should be affecting only a small percentage (sub 1%) of the population, so if the above is bumping into so many transgenders at her school, then, indeed, we have a problem. Her school, incidentally is a small, liberal arts college, one where the bathrooms are identified not so much by gender as by “with urinals” or “without urinals.”

      I favor small schools, but I have to admit those small liberal arts schools really are developing a reputation for extreme Leftist lunacy (as opposed to the more normal Leftist lunacy we’re seeing at the larger schools).




    The above paper, from Brown University, suggests that this wave of transgenderism might well be a form of mass hysteria. Trouble is, this hysteria is being encouraged through irreversible surgery and often irreversible hormone treatments.

 

      The paper has been memory-holed to a considerable extent, which is a shame. The sane response to such a paper would be to stop treating victims of this hysteria with irreversible treatments. Our campuses are so insane now, of course, that we are actually providing such unhealthful treatments with student health insurance.



      Students are paying the premiums on that coverage with the student loan scam. Bottom line, student loans aren’t just hurting education; shutting down the student loan scam would actually improve the health of our students as well.










Monday, February 11, 2019

Why Gen Z Is Leaving College






By Professor Doom



     College enrollments have been falling the last few years, as I’ve said a few times. The loss of students is coming from the kids right out of high school, who leave wondering what to do next.

       In times past, college was always the plan for the new high school graduate. I don’t blame them for making this (often poor) choice, as the indoctrination starts very early:




      The Flat Stanley Project basically has 2nd graders make a paper puppet, which they then send to a college student. The student then takes the puppet around campus, maybe takes a few pictures, and writes back to the small child about how great college is.

     The college student in this case is typically a freshman community college student, taking a puppet around campus for a grade in his “Freshman Orientation” class (orientation used to be an afternoon’s effort, but now our campuses are so large that a 14 week course is called for). Those six year olds would be better served if they heard from someone a few years out from college, trying to pay back his student loan debt while working a minimum wage job.

       The point is, the indoctrination into college starts very early, and is relentless. But the high school graduates are no longer listening, no more than sane people listen to CNN.

       I’ve been talking about the falling enrollments for years, but this “news” is finally trickling into our more common media:


--it’s interesting they use the word “skipping” here. There was a time, not that long ago, when college was just something a minority of our population did. Most folks didn’t “skip” college any more than they “skipped” taking a trip to China.



     Generation Z, people born 1990 or later, are ignoring the 12 years of indoctrination they received in public school, and at long last heading to trade school instead.

      Repeatedly the article cites money as the key factor in breaking the indoctrination:

“I think those [trade] jobs go unfilled because skilled labor is looked down upon, even though those skilled labor people make more money than I do,” she explained. “I don’t know if people don’t want to work as physically hard as they used to, or if they see their families who’ve worked hard physically, or if those families are saying, ‘Don’t do what I did.’

--emphasis added.



     Higher education is so expensive that now taking out a loan is primary way people can “afford” it. Trouble is, the only rational reason for taking out a loan is to get something which will help pay off the loan. Higher education used to be about education…but now it must be about money.

       But why is Gen Z realizing this, and not the kids heading onto campus, say, a decade ago?

       Well, money of course. Gen Z doesn’t have the money to go to college without taking out a loan. They can’t get it from their parents, who are still paying off their own student loans. A decade or so ago, kids got their grandparents to help with the loans, but Gen Z is in a position to see how that plan works out:




     A few decades ago, it was quite the rarity to see a senior citizen impoverished due to student loans, but now it’s quite common:

"Today, over 700,000 people relying on Social Security are still paying their student loans," said Thompson. "Over 160,000 Social Security beneficiaries have their monthly checks garnished to pay off federal student loans



     So, Gen Z sees not one, but two generations being destroyed by student loans for an education, an education which clearly won’t help to pay off the student loans. They’re starting to walk away.

     I feel the need to point out higher education has failed on two levels here. On the first level, it failed by lack of integrity. The sheer greed of our “leaders” in higher ed let them raise, and raise, and raise, tuition, sucking up all that loan money.

       I assure the gentle reader, it takes no more resources to train someone in English literature or mathematics today (just takes books and study) than it did 50 years ago…but tuition has skyrocketed. I grant some degrees are more expensive, for example electrical engineering takes a fairly expensive lab and materials to train a student, although the cost is the same for an EE degree as it is for literature or mathematics. If you want to learn how to hate white males (i.e., get a Gender Studies degree), the cost is still the same…but now you’re not even learning anything academic, and hurting your chances of even getting a job pouring coffee.

       Higher ed could have shown a tiny bit of imagination here and started to splice up tuition costs so that less intensive, less jobs-worthy, degrees didn’t cost the same as degrees far more precious in the workplace, but our leaders have no such imagination.

       The other level where higher ed has failed? In training time. It takes 4 years to train a mathematician, or a historian, or an electrical engineer, because we have 4 year degrees. Now, our leaders in higher ed did realize that jobs training was becoming more important to kids coming out of high school, and responded by creating jobs-related degrees.

      Trouble is, those degrees also take 4 years. So we have 4 year hotel management degrees, even though you can learn everything you need to know about that, and many other jobs, in six months at best.

      Gen Z sees they can spend $100,000 and 4 (more realistically, 6) years getting an electrical engineering degree, and maybe make $60,000 a year after an unlikely graduation, or take a yearlong course on becoming an electrician, for 1/10th of the price, and make $80,000 a year.

      Seriously, higher ed didn’t just drop the ball here, it took a knife, slashed the ball, and tossed it into a sewer. I doubt that years from now, when people see our abandoned campuses and note the endless blocks of dilapidated palaces which formerly housed legions of administrators, it will be understood what happened by most, but I am trying to explain now, today.

“If you’re a doctor, people admire you and you have the glory,” he told me. “If you’re a construction worker, you may get paid the same as a doctor, but you don’t look as good.”



      Our economy is so warped on so many levels now. Our medical care system is so demented that a doctor, after a dozen years of training to use the most sophisticated tools the modern world has, scarcely has a better job than a construction worker who needed a year at most to learn how to use his tools, many of which are little different than what they were a few thousand years ago.

      Now, I grant that, in a generation or three, the guy holding a shovel won’t be making as much as the doctor, but prior to generation Z, we had so many kids indoctrinated into college, missing their chance to learn a useful trade, that we’re now in this situation. Gen Z is wise to take advantage of our currently demented system, and I’m optimistic it’ll work out for them.

     Maybe they’ll even make enough to help pay off their grandparents’ and parents’ student loans.



www.professorconfess.blogspot.com










Friday, February 8, 2019

Seminar: Fight White Supremacy By Not Grading On Quality






By Professor Doom



     Like rain from an approaching hurricane, the madness from our degenerating campuses pours down ever harder. The latest:




     I grant this is just a seminar and not a pronouncement from on high by admin but...well, let’s just say I’m glad I wasn’t drinking milk when I first read the ridiculous phrase “white language supremacy.”

American University in Washington, D.C., is sponsoring a multisession seminar next month aimed at getting faculty to battle against "white language supremacy"

    

      Seeing as “white language supremacy” is about as legitimate a threat as Barney the Dinosaur, I chuckle at the courage it must take to rally the faculty to do battle against it.


      The whole seminar is a series of ridiculously racist lectures…how can nobody stand up this dross? Granted, this is a school which will spend $121,000,000 on a racist banana, so you know these lectures are precisely what they want to hear.


     Bottom line, the school is converged, taken over by Leftist lunatics. How exactly will they do battle against this new foe, anyway?


“…consider "alternative" grading standards for students' writing — such as "labor-based grading contracts."



      Allow me to translate from Educationist to English, here. By “labor-based grading contracts” it is meant that the student’s grade will be simply determined by quantity of writing, not quality. So, a five page paper consisting entirely of “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…” will have the same weight as a legitimate college paper of the same length. Presumably, a student could simply hire someone else to hold down the “e” key and the grade would be the same—doing one’s own work is very white supremacist, after all. I should mention there are many sites where you can, indeed, hire someone to write your paper for you (and I’ve never seen any of these sites go out of business in the last decade, although no admin is ever curious who their customers might be…).


       Who’s selling this crud, anyway?


…a professor of interdisciplinary arts and sciences and director of university writing and UW's Writing Center.



     Heh. Ok, now I know what’s going on.  This admin runs the “Writing Center” at University of Wisconsin, an open admission state school. “What’s a writing center?” is a natural response from gentle readers unfamiliar with higher education, but I know what it is. Open admission schools admit anyone willing to check a box opening up the student loan floodgates, and that includes a great number of barely literate students (that a student who can barely read or write might not comprehend the threat of student loans never crosses an administrative mind, but I digress...). They come in, register for Freshman English 101…and get destroyed.


      To deal with this problem, admin creates a new fiefdom, the Writing Center. Running this little kingdom is a new admin (who also gets to be some sort of professor, at least in this case), who now has the unpleasant task of figuring out how to take barely literate at best students and turn them into college level students.


       The only way to do this is to redefine “college level,” in this case by asserting that being able to read and write coherently is, in fact, simply “white supremacy.” Being admin, he crams this idea down the throats of the helpless adjuncts teaching the Freshman English courses—anyone who doesn’t buy into this theory is labeled a RACIST and fired, and…success! Now the students are passing the courses.


      Having been successful with this lunacy, he can now present a seminar on this “innovative” approach to teaching. I’ve seen the like enough times in the remedial math classes, where “preparation” for college level math is defined down to 4 years pre-high school.


      To be fair, while nobody at American University will have the guts to stand up against this new lunacy, others will do so:


A spokesman for the National Association of Scholars told the College Fix that Inoue's practices are "destroying the very idea that composition classes should teach all students to write well."

Chance Layton added to the outlet that Inoue is "substituting social justice ideologues' bigotry for instruction in composition"



      I’m applauding the National Association of Scholars for their legitimately bold action in calling this bigotry, bigotry. I grant that they have no power to stop this, but I’m starting to see resistance to this constant downpour of lunacy. It may not be much resistance, mind you, but it’s a start.


      The smackdown continues:



The national dominance of social justice educators such as Prof. Inoue indoctrinates college graduates nationwide into social justice ideology and bigotry–but fails to teach them how to write a coherent sentence.



     Yes! Yes! Yes! And yet there’s more:


Layton also told the College Fix that Inoue is "not an outlier," that he "represents the mainstream of America's college writing programs and the mainstream of social justice education, which has taken over much of higher education," and that Inoue and his like-minded colleagues "are the new normal" in American higher education — a system that "requires root and branch reform."



    Root and branch reform, indeed. Too many of our schools are infested with this sort of irrational thinking which is hostile to education, detrimental to the advancement of society. 


     I go further, of course, and believe many of these schools are beyond reform, even complete reform; they should be bulldozed, for the good of the communities being forced to support them, and the good of humanity in general.


      I point out, naturally, that we’re all paying for these seminars indirectly via the student loan scam. Just end it.






    

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Nazis (Almost) Welcomed To Campus






By Professor Doom



     One of the most annoying bits to the Leftist lunacy taking over our campuses is the sheer hypocrisy of their intolerant tolerance. Sure, every form of sexual deviancy variation is tolerated, even the pedophilic, genital mutilatative, and violent tendencies of other cultures is tolerated in the name of sacred Diversity…but opposing ideas, especially those involving free speech, conservative values, or even Christianity are simply not tolerated.

      A particular target of campus intolerance is Nazis. Granted, this is ultimately as irrelevant as hating vampires (in the sense that they’re common enough in movies, but are fairly rare in the real world), but this particular form of hate is encouraged, and generally accepted.

      Recently, a student posted a sign in her dorm window, stating “F*CK NAZIS YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE” (while faculty are discouraged from using capital letters because it scares students, the students are still freely allowed to do so, apparently).

      Despite the current culture allowing open hatred of Nazis, an administrator actually asked the student to take it down. It wasn’t the hatred of Nazis per se which was the problem, but rather:




     Now, I concede there is a free speech issue here in that the student should be allowed to post a sign (although perhaps not in a campus dorm window), but I personally find the language used here a bit offensive. In any event, I see no problem with “including” Nazis—whatever that means—as it strikes me as harmless as including vampires.

“I figured the person responsible would likely walk by my dorm and see it,” Parsons said in an interview with The Boston Globe. “UMass administration has had abysmal response at best to the rising number of hate crimes on campus, so I thought someone should be publicly condemning these actions.”



      Wait, what? The “rising number of hate crimes on campus”? Again, I find this as credible as the rising number of attacks by vampires on campus. Is there anything in particular being referenced here? Perhaps an assault on a synagogue, a mass lynching, something?

“…a swastika being drawn on a “Happy Hanukkah” poster a resident assistant had posted.”



      Some chucklehead scrawls a swastika on a sign, and suddenly we need to worry about the Wehrmacht invading New England? Of course, most likely this was yet another campus hoax. These types of hoaxes are so common on campus that they rarely make the news, after all.

“… incidents of hate speech on campus -- there have been 19 since September.”



    “Hate speech”? This phrase means whatever admin says it means, and considering this is a campus with tens of thousands of people on it, 19 arbitrarily defined incidences out of perhaps a million conversations/lectures/discussions strikes me as an infinitesimally small concern. Alas, our campuses are filled with exuberantly overpaid Diversity Commissars to keep track of such irrelevancies.

      Predictably, this very minor, gentle, and polite request for decorum was blown out of proportion, or at least the media tries to do so:

Backlash was immediate. The public deemed the university Nazi sympathizers. One woman who identified herself as an alumna wrote on Facebook, “Tolerance for hate crimes and intolerance for resisting fascism? This is UMass Amherst now? Ashamed.”



      The ‘public’ actually deemed the school as being “Nazi sympathizers”? Our press really is losing their minds. I strongly suspect most members of the public who even care a little are pointing and laughing at the idiocy here. I rather believe more members of the public are afraid of vampires than Nazis, truth be told.

      The university rejects the notion that they support Nazis, of course, but all of this misses the point of how insane so many of our campuses have become.

       Imagine the backlash if instead of Nazis, some other group was targeted. If she had posted “F*CK BLACKS” for example, she would not have received a polite e-mail acknowledging her free speech rights but nevertheless politely asking her to take the sign down. Instead, a dozen or more administrators would have stormed her room to rip that sign down, rightfully fearful of the school being burned to the ground.

      I suppose if she targeted white males, she would have been ok, but we’ll leave such speculations to philosophers.

      The comments section is quite literally all over the place, although a couple of commenters seem to “get it” with the two issues at stake (neither of which is addressed by the media):

Sir Karl Popper had it right: "In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance." Nazism is the poster child for intolerance, so the answer to the question headlining the story is "no." The rejection of the advocacy of Nazism is not the same as having a dispassionate discussion of its history and impact. That said, college needs to be the place where students need to practice rational argument rather than telling others to "f#ck off."



      Indeed, we’re supposed to be talking about things, not shouting obscenities. The student in this case would be surprised to learn just how many university—as well as our own government—policies were actively supported and encouraged by Nazism. Of course, if she had such an education, she might direct her hatred to the institutions and people actually doing her harm, instead of hating vampires Nazis.

      A second comment does even better, addressing a larger societal issue which is caused by the madness on so many of our campuses:

Part of the issue here is that, too often, anyone (thought to be) to the right of Bernie is labeled a Nazi and treated as such--being either maniacally screamed at or outright attacked with actual physical violence,



    Many of our students on campus aren’t being trained to think. Instead, they’re trained to hate Nazis with a burning rage. So, when a leader points at someone and shrieks “Nazi!” the response is mindless shouting and violence, instead of a thoughtful response of “what has he done to make you think he’s a Nazi? Is he a threat so dangerous that we must have a violent response?”

     Campuses took decades to descend from places of education to centers of indoctrination. It will take years, minimum, before they can become education centers again.

      This process, if ever it is to begin, can be accelerated by ending the student loan scam, reducing the high profitability of indoctrination.