Thursday, March 31, 2011

Obesity on Campus (by anon)

I know most people post about the problems with our government and other political issues but as much as I should be concerned about it, I'm not.  You see, there's this BIG problem not only on our campus, but the entire world. Obesity.  As a student studying to become a dietician, I see the problem everywhere and it concerns me to an extreme extent. I don't think that students understand that what they eat effects their future.  Obesity can cause diabetes, high blood and cholesterol levels, heart attack, stroke, asthma, and mental issues.  While I would love to think the students are choosing the healthy options that are available at the dining halls and in the UC but, I know that it is not the case.  I see people all the time with unhealthy options and soda instead of water and a well-balanced meal.  I work at a dining area on campus and when I see how many more double cheese burgers are sold than salads I literally get disgusted.  By eating the nutrients your body needs you are able to do so much more.  It increases your concentration and yes, you will gain more energy with healthy foods than with a 21 oz cup of pure liquid sugar Mt. Dew.  When you start eating healthy at a young age, those habits stick with you throughout your life.  It becomes habit to grab a yogurt instead of ice cream.  I understand that eating healthy can be expensive but in the long run, you'll end up spending that money on hospital bills if you keep eating crap everyday.  Now, don't get me wrong, I love my sweets and pizza but it is all about limiting yourself and portion control.  Did you know that the average size of dinner plates has increased over 50% since the 1950's?  That means we are eating twice as much food as we used to.  People don't know how easy it is to transition into a healthy life style.  By simply trading  water for soda you can carve off 500 calories a day, or by taking the stairs instead of elevators, both are easy things that are totally achievable for anyone.  The health of our campus and our world is at risk with this pandemic.  If something is not done soon, future generations are going to be in horrible health.  Childhood obesity has already tripled in the past two decades.  That is unacceptable.  We need to reflect upon ourselves and realize that we are killing ourselves with what we eat and make a change!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Who are these idiots who don't think there is climate change? (by anon)

Republican hopeful, Tim Pawlenty, is apologizing for supporting cap-and-trade (you know, legislation to limit the carbon output of corporations).  But he goes further and apologizes that he once supported "climate change."  Now, let me tell you what "climate change" is.

To believe in climate change is to believe that the earth is getting warmer, in part, because of humans.  We have released a ton of CFC's (chlorofluorocarbons) in the air that have been depleting the ozone layer.  And we have released a ton of other carbon-based compounds (most notably carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere that are contributing to a greenhouse effect.  While global warming started well before us humans arrived on the scene, we are certainly not helping the situation.  The purpose behind cap-and-trade would be to try and offset or limit the carbon output of industry.

Should one believe that climate change, or global warming, is real.  Oh my god yes!  The EPA has issued, "warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level."  This isn't coming from some schmuck who smoked a little dope and decided to whack off a bit of climate-change-babble.  These are the findings of the scientific community - you know, those people who test, test, and retest their experiments and conclusions all in the name of sufficient evidence, justification, and rationality yada yada.

So when Pawlenty apologizes for once believing in climate change, I want to scream, "You freaking idiot!  What planet are you from???"  He couldn't be from this one, because this one IS heating up and we aren't helping the situation one bit.  I guess he longer trusts the scientific community.  Holy crap that's bad.

But then to top it off, Pawlenty says that it's ok that he is flipping and flopping because other top Republican candidates are doing the same thing (yeah, like that makes it better).  More precisely, he says, "Everybody in the race, at least the big names in the race, embraced climate change or cap-and-trade at one point or another."  Now my head is really spinning.  All the Republicans who once believed in climate change are now changing their positions?  They are all denying climate change?  Can someone pinch me?  Is this for real?

But then the REAL KICKER is that Haley Barbour, another Republican candidate (probably), boasts that he has always been against climate change.  Ever since he was a lobbyist for some big industrial, mega-polluting, energy company, his view against global warming has been rock (and, yes, I'm thinking the same self-serving explanation too).  What an accomplishment!  Let's just deny the facts, support pollution, and then brag that you have never once deviated from that stance.

I feel like I'm in crazy town.  And the craziest part about it is that many many people take these people seriously.  That's scary shit.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Shout, Scream, Think it out

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTORS........................

"The Critically Pissed" blog is a forum for any UWW student or faculty to air a frustration/criticism/argument about any issue that matters to him or her.  For instance, it could be about your classes, diversity issues, problems with students, problems with faculty, problems with the administration, issues with the media, state politics, national politics, any “ism,” or any other issue you find important and want people to hear what you have to say about it.  Posting is also a great way to let off that steam that has been building up!

The only requirement is that each post be a “reasoned” post.  No bald rants.  We want reasoned rants so that your views can persuade others and not sink to the level of many politicians and pundits.

The hope is that this kind of “critically pissed” forum can be another mouthpiece, a collective mouthpiece, to effect some measure of change (no matter how small).  Change is hard, but to say nothing means that change is impossible.


- All posts will be anonymous, but you can create a catchy alias if you want :)
- Word limit: 100-1000 words
- Come up with a title for your post (or else I will).
- Leave particular people’s names out of your posts, unless you believe they are really needed.
- Make sure you are giving REASONS for your view.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Critically Pissed, you can burn and rot in hell?

Now I'm not getting paranoid on you or anything, but I just came across this very interesting news tidbit.  Apparently, a Catholic prep school teacher started her own website called, "Burn and Rot in Hell!"  Catchy title (well, not really).  The website's sub-line is "I vent, therefore I am."  Now that really is catchy, and it signifies precisely what you might think.  Her website is dedicated to venting about all sorts of things, from personal kinds of issues, to politics, to school-related items.  Hmmm...wait a minute!...that sounds a bit like this blog (though it is different in ways).  Nevertheless, I like this lady!!!

But hold on, her school isn't so smitten with the whole idea.  They are firing her!  Admittedly, she has categories titled "bad teachers" and "bad students," and if they actually name names, I personally do not find that in good taste.  But is that kind of website something to get fired over?

Here's the story if you want to read: click me.

Ok, the issue in my mind is: could The Critically Pissed blog land in hot water too?  What if names were named in the blog posts?  Remember a number of posts ago with the idea of  What if we started that as a sub-category here?  What if we outed out bad profs and horrible students who should have never enrolled in the first place?  Are these things that might prompt UWW to force this blog to shut down, or worse, bring punishment on the moderator?

This blog is not hosted on UWW server space, and no UWW email account is associated with the blog.  Wouldn't "freedom of speech" or "academic freedom" be enough to kill any attempt at a takedown?  Couldn't the Catholic prep school teacher also use that defense?  Of course, the Catholic school is a private school, and those institutions seem to be able to do whatever they want to their staff.

Or might I be fooling I need to start looking behind my back?  Is The Critically Pissed gonna burn and rot in hell?  I mean, I even invited our Chancellor to be a friend of The Critically Pissed on Facebook. lol

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Libya shibya, send that damn money our way! (by anon)

I'm not ignorant of why Obama authorized force in Libya and not in Yemen and Bahrain.  Yemen and Bahrain are already US allies (we don't want to piss off the leaders there), and Libya has over 3 times the oil reserves in the US (one tenth of the world's oil reserves).  Deposing Gaddafi for a more "friendly" leader would certainly be in the interest of the US.

But goddamnit!  Obama spent over $100 million the first day (THE FIRST DAY) of the air strikes on missiles.  Now I know that $100 million isn't a lot in the grand scheme of things, but shit, Walker is trying to save $130 million by making public employees bend over and take one for the team and it has been quite the stink here.  So I say - HEY OBAMA, SEND SOME OF THOSE $100 MILLION INSTALLMENTS OUR WAY!  If he can spend that much on a foreign country in one day, don't you think it would be a better use of money for him to help out his own public employees??  Hell, send it anywhere in the US where budgets are hurting and good people are having trouble making ends meet.  How would that not be the more responsible thing to do? 

The US taxpayers have already spent over $1 trillion dollars (yes, that is a "t") on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from 2001 to Jan 2011.  Is it a freaking wonder why the bursting of the housing bubble hurt us so much?!  We are pissing our money away in these damn wars.  We still spend millions per day on these wars, and now we're taking on some additional war expenses.  It makes me want to piss nails.

Yes, I find this authorization of force in Libya gross.  Whatever case can be made that the offensive is for humanitarian purposes (and I do think that is bull), it would be more humanitarian to give that back to the US people.

Obama, I am still trying to believe in you.  But I seriously wonder if you still believe in us.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Republican Party will hunt you down! (by anon)

So if you are thinking about writing a not-so-flattering post about the Republican Party and you are a UW professor, you better watch out!!

for scary news - click here

Evidently UW history professor William Cronon wrote a blog post about some shadow group behind the Wisconsin Republican Party, and they are not happy.  Within only a couple of days of Cronon posting about the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (a shadowy kind of group) on Gov. Scott Walker's legislative agenda, Cronon got a formal request by the Republican Party to hand over all emails he sent from his UW email account regarding Republicans.  I guess they got pissed!

I have one thing to say to Republicans: GO BACK TO YOUR HOLE!

With all their talk of less government and less oversight, this smacks of hypocritical double-standards.  WTF

Watch, I'll probably get arrested for sending in this post!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

To live life as a homosexual (by Lauren Meyer)

This is an award-winning essay written by one of my students and printed in our student paper, The Royal Purple, a couple of weeks ago.  This is so top-notch that you need to read it if you missed it the first time.


Have you ever been afraid of who you are? Have you ever been afraid to let people know about yourself? Have you ever woken up afraid to go out in public? I have, and sometimes still am. Being homosexual has never been easy, and I fear it never will be. My whole life I have been picked on, I’ve been ridiculed for being open about who I am. Some days I ask myself why I let it bother me. Other days I wake up, proud for being the person I know I am.
Getting picked on and sometimes being physically hurt just for being a homosexual, sets me back on how far I’ve come over the years. Recently having a hate crime happen to me, just for wearing a t-shirt still affects me. I can’t honestly say I’m not mad at those that look down on me. I can say that I’m slowly getting more and more used to it. Just because someone’s straight doesn’t mean I go around picking on them and hurting them on a daily basis.  
When’s the last time you heard someone say “That’s so gay,” I do on a daily basis. Why is it never, “that’s so straight?”  I still can’t understand why people give homosexuals such a hard time, and I fear I never will truly be able to understand why. When’s the last time heterosexuals got questioned about their sexuality? When’s the last time heterosexuals got ridiculed? When’s the last time a heterosexual got punched for wearing a straight t-shirt? Some people talk about how gays have no right to say that they have a rough life, but look at it; we live day to day pushing forward in a society that’s not only open minded, but also very close minded.

Back in high school, it took up to my junior year to tell my friends, who had already known since middle school that I was a homosexual. Knowing that they still were my friend and respected me meant the world. Having a support system and people around to back me up meant more to me than anyone could imagine, I’m stubborn, but not stubborn enough to get through this constant challenge on my own. Even after getting punched, people came together and showed support. Support plays a huge role in my life, if I didn’t have people appreciate me for me I don’t know how I would have made it this far.

To me, being an openly homosexual woman has made me a stronger person in the long run. If I had the chance to go back and change who I am somehow, I wouldn’t. Sure things are rough and sure I take a lot of negativity on a daily basis, but I would never change who I am to make others more comfortable. If I had to hide my true self just for society, I would wonder the whole time why heterosexuals don’t have to hide who they are. One day I will be more comfortable in society, one day I will no longer be angry. I believe the world will turn around and realize that homosexuals are just like everyone else.

Overcoming being openly out, having fag written on my locker and said to my face, and even getting punched in the face, has done nothing but made me stronger in the long run. In the end, knowing who I am and allowing myself to be open about it, has been a rough journey all the way through. Being homosexual, to me, has been the single greatest challenge I have had to overcome in my life so far. I may get knocked down, I may have obstacles thrown at me, but I know who I am. I am Lauren Leigh Meyer, and I’m not afraid to say that I am a lesbian.           

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who cares what you think... (by anon)

Today I got an email with a link to the FDA’s alert about Japanese food imports (this post is not about Japan’s food problems). I read a little and then noticed that there were comments left by random people... on the FDA’s website. I can understand leaving comments on blogs that you follow or things that you have a connection to (like a local newspaper), but why do people feel compelled to leave a comment on the FDA’s website? Why do they think I care what their opinion is on the FDA testing Japanese food? And the comments weren't helpful or adding to the conversation- they were more opinions like "Better safe than sorry." I understand the irony- that I am posting on a blog about other people’s comments… My question is- what makes people comment on websites? I mean I had a thought as I was reading the article, “Hmm…bet we’ll hear more about that”. Did you need to know that I thought that? I don’t think so. Did that help your understanding of the topic? Hopefully not. I’m not really complaining…just pondering the phenomenon of comments and public (as in not internal) thinking.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stereotypes: Point/Counterpoint (by anons)

Alright, here's a little point/counterpoint regarding stereotypes.  These are posts from two separate sources that I'm fitting into this format.

I hate stereotypes in our society from all white people can't dance to all tall people play sports. Stereotypes are common things that happen in our society today.  All of us has had a point of time where we stereotyped someone or some group for their actions or the way they looked.  Although i don't think this problem can fully be eliminated I think we can start taking better steps to better the situation, such as learning more about other groups so we won't have certain assumptions of their way of life.  I feel if everyone tries to make a difference with this problem it will bring a great outcome.

Stereotypes are one of the most blessed things in life.  Of course they can be used for bad purposes, but we would never be able to function without them.  Stereotypes help us make quick judgments about the people we deal with so that we can more effectively navigate our world on a daily basis.  If I ask a professor where the University Center is and she tells me, I have the stereotype that she will tell me the truth.  If I was a Jew in 1930s Germany, I would be safe to avoid non-Jewish Germans because of the stereotype that non-Jewish Germans do not like Jews.  As a female it is better for me not to walk home alone at night because of the stereotype that men may not treat me well in that circumstance.  If I didn't have any stereotypes and tried to evaluate each person on her own before I came to any conclusions, I would be spending quite a bit of time doing that evaluation, and I could be putting myself in unnecessary risks.  Stereotypes can also help us understand large groups of people too.  If we got rid of stereotypes, we wouldn't be able to come to conclusions about groups of people like women are generally more caring than men or the elderly are wiser than the young.  Without stereotypes, we couldn't say those things.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Goodbye Sincerity, nice knowing ya (by anon)

In my opinion, social obligations have ruined sincerity. By social obligations i mean what people feel like they have to do and say. To give an arbitrary minor example, Let's say that you're walking down a sidewalk and you look out and see an old acquaintance that you secretly don't like and you wish you hadn't seen. I would say that in the majority of occurrences similar to this one, many people will still politely say hi or even get involved in a conversation. Or to give another example, you are eating with some friends, and another friend walks in that you don't really want to eat with but if they see you and you see them, and you notice they aren't with anybody, you will probably tend to invite them to sit with you. So are these things acts of kindness or simply social obligations that we feel must do? How can we tell? I will use a metaphor to better explain, in the case of the soul, we would act the same whether we had one or not which makes it hard to prove either way. So in this metaphor the soul is sincerity and what we do is our social obligations. For another example, let's look at depression. After someone has been identified as suicidal or some such thing, he is forced into meeting with various people on campus, each one telling him that they care. How can you care for someone you've never met? On what grounds can you care about someone, because they're human one may say. So would Hitler then be greeted with the same generosity? If the person depressed is a liability to the staff members, in that if he killed himself it would be a reflection on the school and people who worked with him, how can we know if they are sincerely trying to help or if they just don't want to look bad?

(1) Sincerity exists

(2) Social obligations exist
(3) Both create the same outcome
(4) Therefore, we cannot know whether someone is acting out of sincerity or social obligation

To conclude, some social obligations and formalities are good in that they maintain structure in our society, but many are not needed and they most definitely dont need the amount of importance our society places on them. When we perceive something as wrong or rude, many times it is because we think the person has failed to uphold one of our sacred social obligations. I am a man who admires sincerity, and i place great importance on it, and in my opinion sincerity is more important than social obligations and formalities. The co-existence of sincerity and social obligations make it incredibly hard to tell from which source someone is acting. Therefore if we can remove some of our social obligations or at least the importance we place on them then we can become a more sincere and honest society.

Friday, March 18, 2011

When is it okay for a woman to hit a man? (by anon)

I ran across an article written by Valerie Curnow titled: “Domestic Violence Debate: It’s Not Wrong for Women to Hit Men.” Here’s the link to the article:

Obviously, I had to respond:

Feminism and the Civil Rights Movement made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on gender, race, etc. It was no longer OK to say, “She can’t do this job because she’s a woman.” It was no longer OK to say, “He can’t live in this apartment building because he’s black.” So, to discriminate in a matter of physical abuse based on someone’s gender is anti-feminist.

The writer claims the biology of the woman makes her weaker and therefore not able to hurt a man in the types of physical abuse she describes. Although her actions are criminal, her biology gives her a free pass. However, if we apply this biology principle to other situations, I think we’d see a different point-of-view from the feminists who buy into the physical abuse double standard. What if we apply the biology principle to pregnancy? What if I were to say a man can’t get pregnant, so he shouldn’t be held responsible for the pregnancy of a woman? It’s not in his biology. Just as it’s not a woman’s responsibility for how she slaps her man, it’s not the man’s responsibility for how he impregnated his woman. The woman doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of her actions as long as the man doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of his actions.

Of course the feminists will say when a man enters into a sexual relationship with a woman (no matter how long it lasts…years or seconds), it’s his responsibility to be aware of the consequences that could take place. And because he’s a willing participant in this sexual relationship, he signs a sort of social contract to help the woman in whatever way she (or the courts) requires him. However, would feminists agree that a woman willingly enters into a physically abusive relationship with a man if she hits him? Because she does. Once someone brings physical abuse into the relationship, it is no longer a healthy relationship. So, if it is right for a man to assume responsibility for the consequences of the type of relationship he enters into, wouldn’t it be right for a woman to also assume responsibility for such consequences (his ridicule from friends, emotional stress, etc.)? So, if a woman hits a man and knowingly creates a physically abusive relationship, we should hold her responsible for any beatings she may take in this physically abusive relationship. Does this seem right?

I’ve never hit a woman, and I’m a man. I’ve gotten plenty mad at certain women before, but I’ve never hit one. I have something called self-control. I understand I must solve my problems in other ways. They teach this to kids in pre-school; it’s called using your words. When I get angry, I don’t throw fists at people. Rather, I assess the situation and think of something to say in order to begin a dialogue in which the problem can be solved. When someone in a relationship hits another, it’s about control. When a man hits a woman, he’s physically controlling her. But when a woman hits a man, she’s emotionally controlling him. Physical abuse shouldn’t be judged by the degree to which someone physically hurt another.

Allowing for a double standard in physical abuse leads to the creation of a dangerous slippery slope. What could come next? A woman’s verbal abuse against her man isn’t taken as seriously because he used the word “cunt,” which is infinitely worse than anything she could have called him? A black person can’t verbally abuse anyone of another race because they have the power to call the black person “nigger,” which is more powerful and hurtful? These situations are ridiculous, but so is the physical abuse double standard.

What pisses me off more than any of this is that I even have to write this article. Why is anyone using physical abuse at all? Why can’t we just respect each other? Respect is generated from equality, that we see the other person as having the equal attributes that make us living, breathing, feeling human beings. Where can respect be seen in physically abusive relationships?

Thursday, March 17, 2011 - should this exist? (by anon) exists as a public way for students to rate their professors.  We all know about it.  Some ratings are awesome, some are...well...deathly.  It is a highly useful website for students to get a possible glimpse of a professor before he or she signs up for a class.  And for what it is worth, the evaluations seem to be fairly accurate, for the most part.  Of course we can always debate whether student perceptions actually equal teaching effectiveness.

But I don't care about that right now.  I think we should start a website that looks just like, but that it is about students, where professors can make public evaluations of them - both awesome and deathly. would be the appropriate name (even if it is taken right now - or I suppose we could go with  Wouldn't that be fair?  And it could be tremendously useful for an instructor who, for instance, has a troublesome or troubled student.  The instructor may find the student on and possibly find some explanations.

But here's another reason why we might want  What I don't like about is that if a well-meaning professor, who tries really hard to make class interesting and engaging for the student, gets blasted by a student on (who probably does so because of an impending bad grade), that prof begins to look like a bad prof.  Some use that website for revenge.  That's not right.  But if we had, it is possible that student might think twice about enacting such revenge.  If the prof who was rated badly by some student has a good guess who might have posted that rating (and usually the prof does), the prof could rate that student too for all to see.  It would provide a little checks-and-balance.

So who's going to start

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Professor Evaluations (by anon)

The main problem I want to speak on here at UW-Whitewater is the
improvement of the professors.  Whitewater has many well-respected professors
but there are also some who are not.  The main argument I want to address are
the professor evaluations, which the students are required to fill out at the end of
each semester.  I think these evaluations are biased based on the questions that are asked.  I was told that some teachers can pick the 20 questions from a set of 100 that are to be placed on their evaluation sheet for the end of the semester. If this is true, it provides a perfectly good explanation why some of these professors are still employed here at Whitewater. They pick the questions, which will provide a positive outcome for the evaluation, and hence will improve their credibility.

There were some professors that I have had in the past that I would not recommend to another student, but when it was time for evaluations, all of the questions were focused on answers for positive feedback.  For instance, on every evaluation there is the question that states, “Was your professor well prepared?” or “Did you professor have a good understanding of the topic?”  The answer to both of these questions might very well be yes but that does not mean that they were effective in teaching the subject.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mad World (by anon)

There come times when I think I'm having a nightmare, times when I question whether this world is right side up or right side down.

Imagine that you are a woman and are asked to mock simulate a rape scene.  Heinous, right?

Imagine that you are Jewish and are asked to take part in a mock simulation of the goings on in a concentration camp.  Unthinkable, right?

Now imagine that you are ten-year old Nikko Burton, a black student at Chapelfield Elementary in Ohio, and are made to take part in a mock slave auction where you are "inspected" by masters to see if you are a worthy buy - and this is a class exercise.  Read the story for yourself:

I must admit that I'm a little at a loss for what to say.  This is a child humiliated by the worst kind of racial objectification all in the name of education.

How is this possible?  Don't we live in America?  Isn't this supposed to be the land of freedom?  I'm losing hope (more than I already have).

Ever since I read this story a couple of days ago, I can't get Gary Jules' song, "Mad World," out of my head.  Here's the verse and chorus:

Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy birthday, happy birthday
And I feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen

Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me, what's my lesson?
Look right through me, look right through me

And I find it kind of funny, I find it kind of sad
The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you, I find it hard to take
When people run in circles its a very, very
Mad world, mad world, enlarging your world
Mad world

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wisconsin Government Stinks (by Loak)

After watching the news and reading newspaper sources and articles, I've learned that the govern of Wisconsin Scott Walker is trying to cut free medicare, lower your WisQuest Card amount, and increasing tuition for Wisconsin college students. That's not fair. Governor Scott Walker doesn't realize what he's taking away from the poor and how it's affecting their lives. Poor people including myself are already in a ton of debt because of school loans and now he just wants to increase the problem so he can benefit in the end. Then he wants to take away money from our food cards so he can save people who already can afford food money. It's hard enough going to the doctor and hearing, "oh your medicare only covers check-ups." Now he wants us to pay for medicare that isn't even useful. He's even making the elderly/retired pay out of pocket for their medicare and they've served their time to society. That's not fair; what do you think?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Conservative or intoxicated with the draught of new power? (by anon)

I am really tired of people calling themselves conservatives when they are radicals overturning tradition and precedent at a breakneck pace in order to pursue abstract ideals.  This is not conservative at all.

Edmund Burke wrote:

“You may proceed by degrees.  We must all obey the great law of change.  It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation.  All we can do, and that human wisdom can do, is to provide that the changes shall proceed by insensible degrees.  This has all the benefits which may be in change, without any of the inconveniences of mutation.  Everything is provided for as it arrives....This gradual course…will prevent men long under depression from being intoxicated with the large draught of new power, which they always abuse with a licentious insolence.  But, wishing, as I do, the change to be gradual and cautious, I would, in my first steps, lean rather to the side of enlargement than restriction.”

Breaking with 50 years of tradition of protecting collective bargaining, ramming the Budget Repair Bill through as Democratic State Senators were barred from entering the building, passing the bill in the Senate with less than two hours notice in a special session, and rejecting more incremental changes (as the union had conceded all of the cuts to benefits demanded by the governor) is not conservative.

The bill was motivated not by the conditions on the ground and the accumulated wisdom of trial and error, but by what Burke derided as “abstract thinking.”   Radical anti-public sector ideologues is a much closer description of the actions in Madison over the past 36 hours.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Absolute Gov't Failure (by Critically Pissed)

Sad day.  Angry day.  Scott Walker and his Republican senate just passed a bill tonight stripping most of all the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Link: Wis. GOP bypasses Dems, cuts collective bargaining

It doesn't matter if you are Democrat or Republican - you should be pissed.  Why?  Because they completely circumvented democracy.  Whether you love unions, hate unions, or are somewhere in-between, with all of the hoopla going on precisely regarding collective bargaining rights, the last thing anyone should do is ram through a bill destroying all those rights without talking/negotiating with all parties.  How could anyone regard that as the right, responsible thing to do?  Democracy means that one must deal with the messy business of people relations (gasp!).

The Republicans took out the collective bargaining bits from the Budget Repair Bill and made it into a stand alone anti-union bill (which then didn't require the fourteen Dem senators to come back for the vote to happen because it is not a budget bill).  This should also cause some pause since Walker kept insisting that getting rid of collective bargaining WAS a budget issue.  Making it a stand alone bill means that it is not budget-related.  Why the 180-degree turn?  Answer: because getting rid of collective bargaining rights was never about the budget.  It was simply to get rid of unions.  At least Walker is now admitting the transparency.

Sad day.  Angry day.  Our Gov't is failing at governance.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm sick of stupidity! (by anon)

I'm sick that anyone thinks that Scott Walker is doing something right.
I'm sick of jerks running our government and not even willing to talk about some kind of compromise.
I'm sick God-damn libertarians who think that individual wealth is more important than than the community as a whole.
I'm sick of that shit-for-brains Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann, who is considered to be an intellectual Palin (holy shit!).
I'm sick of people not thinking that education is more important than it is.
I'm sick of the business school making a ton more money than the humanities.
I'm sick of dorks who think that the politician who has a complex view on a matter is somehow less of a good candidate than the politician with a black and white view of the world.
I'm so sick of people believing that public employees are making out like bandits when it is the super rich who are the real thieves.
I'm tired of that hell-hole Fox News and how people really think that they give any semblance of objective reporting (except for Shep! He's good.).
I cannot believe that Glenn Beck has all the support he has!!  Absolute crazy.

I'm sick of being sick of all these things!!  What happened to good thinking?  What happened to everyone pulling together for everyone else?  Why is up down and top bottom?  I'M ASKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...because it just doesn't make sense to me!  What the fuck is going on?  That is not rhetorical.  PLEASE.  Answer me.  My head is about to explode.  I am seriously hitting a wall because the lack of reason and morality (YES MORALITY) is  abundantly clear out in our stupid America.  How is it that Walker's plan so transparently exploits the middle class in order to pad the corporate pockets even more, and there isn't one huge Wisconsin (nay, American) voice saying "NO"?  It shouldn't even be a consideration.

And the worst part about it is that I don't feel like I can change anything.

To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test (by anon)

Some students are quick to say that I did not learn "anything" in his or her class. 

The problem with this statement is that if they took examinations in the class, then they learned something. This research published in the prestigious Science journal re-evaluates the value of examinations. So from the previous study on what they learn in class (writing and substantive reading) we may have to add examinations to the list. This is an exert from a longer piece written by Pam Belluck and appears on New York Times web site, but you can access the complete article at Science online.


"The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods. One of those methods — repeatedly studying the material — is familiar to legions of students who cram before exams. The other — having students draw detailed diagrams documenting what they are learning — is prized by many teachers because it forces students to make connections among facts.  These other methods not only are popular, the researchers reported; they also seem to give students the illusion that they know material better than they do.
In the experiments, the students were asked to predict how much they would remember a week after using one of the methods to learn the material. Those who took the test after reading the passage predicted they would remember less than the other students predicted — but the results were just the opposite. “I think that learning is all about retrieving, all about reconstructing our knowledge,” said the lead author, Jeffrey Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychology at Purdue University. “I think that we’re tapping into something fundamental about how the mind works when we talk about retrieval.”    

Well I guess exams are not useless after all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Fucksaw? Prof behaving badly?! (by anon)

Every now and then a story comes along that makes you stand up and say to yourself - what the fuck is this?

So Prof Bailey teaches a popular human sexuality course at Northwestern (this writer's alma mater) and conducts sex toy demonstrations after hours in his home.  One such demo involved a naked woman and the use of a contraption he calls the fucksaw. Did he violate any school policies? Is this an appropriate class related demonstration or just a crazy ass prof behaving badly?  It does appear that one can learn much from Prof Bailey's classes, and after all students are adults, but I do have a few problems and issues with the fucksaw.  This particular experiment using a mechanical work tool is negative from where I sit. Shame on my alma mater.  Prof. Bailey be thankful you teach at Northwestern. Your head would be served up on a platter if you taught at any of the UW campuses. Several years ago, the legislature along with UW System whacked a prof for saying that 911 was an inside job, so you know what would happen with you and your fucksaw.


Northwestern University Professor Under Fire After Class Sex Toy Demonstration

Reciprocating Saw

A Northwestern University professor is defending a controversial after-school demonstration, which featured a naked woman "being repeatedly sexually stimulated" by a device he called a "fucksaw" in front of students. 
The Daily Northwestern reported Tuesday that Prof. John Michael Bailey, who teaches a popular Human Sexuality course at the school, often holds after-class events which include everything from "a question-and-answer session with swingers to a panel of convicted sex offenders."

Last week, the after-class event featured a naked woman being stimulated by a motorized sex toy called a "fucksaw" on stage, the paper reports. The woman was not a student.
The A.V. Club Chicago explained the toy in question:
The "fucksaw" in question is basically a dildo attached to a reciprocating saw which, when cranked up to full blast, can drive a person to orgasm.
Students were reportedly warned about the explicit nature of the demonstration, and were urged to skip the event if they were worried about being uncomfortable.  One school administrator told the Daily Northwestern he was surprised to hear of the demonstration, but said it most likely did not violate school policies. But after the "fucksaw" story made national news Wednesday, the university's president spoke out against Bailey's after-class event.
After this story went viral everyone at Northwestern decided to speak out against it.  Prof Bailey may be given his walking paper. He may become a millionaire with the fucksaw. Anything is possible in America.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Appropriate use of UWW email? (by Xavier)

I'll just come out and say that Walker makes me wretch.  I'm not the only UWW faculty member who has such a reaction to our new goon in office, but it is important that you know that I feel that way.  I say that because yesterday I received an email from another faculty member in the College of L&S who has been quite vocal against Walker's budget plans.  The email was criticizing the UW System's response to the latest installment of Walker's budget plans that cut about a tenth from UWW's budget.  The criticism blasted UW System for being too weak in their response and significantly understating the dire consequences of Walker's proposal.  The email continues to note the failed leadership of UW System's president as well as imply that UW System is not advocating for education adequately at all.

With that said, I agree for the most part.  I am wholly against Walker's proposal and I think that UW System could be stronger in its reaction.  But what I think is a little inappropriate is that that email sent from that faculty member presumably went to every faculty member in the College of L&S.  If by chance, I did not agree with that email, I would be pretty pissed.  I'd probably be thinking, "Why does that loudmouth feel that he/she can just spout off like that unsolicited?"  Should that person's views have that kind of forum when we try to protect our email inboxes from just that sort of unsolicited stuff?  If every faculty member started emailing everyone else their gripes, we would be flooded fast with email after email.  If I had thought that the UW System's response was appropriate and that the System president was doing a good job, should I send an email to everyone too?

So though I agree with the email, I think it is was inappropriate to send it everyone.  But I could be wrong.  It might have just gone to a few people of whom the faculty member felt comfortable sending it.  But I don't think that was the case.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Prof behaving badly! (by anon)

Wait a damn minute here! I understand that sometimes faculty feuds can be toxic but peeing on a colleagues' office door is behaving badly and just plain nasty. On most jobs this kind of behavior would get you fired immediately but not on most college campuses, as profs are protected by the tenure system. I suspect the prof in question was fined for peeing in public, as college campuses are considered legally as public sites. I bet this is the gossip of the day at Cal State.

Here is the story:

A Cal State Northridge professor has been caught on tape peeing on a colleague's door, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tihomir Petrov, 43, a mathematics professor, had been fighting with his office neighbor. Petrov faces two counts of urinating in a public place. The videotaped incident occurred in December.  According to KTLA, the school installed cameras near the target's office after finding puddles of what appeared to be urine at the office door. Petrov was granted a 30-day arraignment extension this week, the Daily Sundial reports.

Just plain nasty and stupid. He should have known that there was a camera in the hall but he is safe - he is tenured.