Colleges And Universities

University Commencements NOT Place For Disruptions!

The Israel-Hamas War has led to widespread demonstrations and occupations of college and university campuses, disrupting the whole purpose of higher education–to promote discussion, debate, and rational discourse.

Now, commencement time, a time of celebration of accomplishments, is threatened by disruptions, encouraged in many cases by faculty, as well as by students and outside agitators who, by their actions, are marring the experience that comes once in a lifetime for students who have accomplished their educational goals.

One can empathize and sympathize with those who are desirous of ending the Israel-Hamas War, as this author and blogger is, but the strategy of blockade and interference with the basic right of families to celebrate the accomplishments of their family members is totally uncalled for.

Universities And The Israel-Hamas War: The Appropriate Role For Professors

The sad and tragic events occurring at many universities and college across tha nation regarding the Israel-Hamas War are inciting anti Jewish and anti Muslim hatred, which is deplorable!

And the fact that there are university and college professors who are abandoning their role as moderators of differences, and actively engaging in promoting occupation of university facilities and extremist actions and rhetoric, is totally outrageous and unacceptable behavior!

The role of professors is to promote dialogue and discussion, and work to promote understanding, but their standing as faculty does not give them the right to provoke extremist actions of any kind!

Free speech and the right to demonstrations on public issues does not certify the right to occupy buildings and provoke violence, so professors lose their high ethical and moral standing when they do so, and it should be condemned by all reasonable people!

Generation Z (1996-2012) Turning “Blue” On Abortion, Guns, Voting Rights!

Generation Z (1996-2012) is rapidly turning “Blue” on the major controversies that divide America’s political parties.

This is heartening news for the Democratic Party, as young people in large percentages support abortion rights, whether they are women and girls or their male supporters. This is the generation most impacted by courts and politicians attempting to control their reproductive rights!

Also, young people recognize that the gun culture in America worships the crazy need to allow semi automatic firearms to go unregulated while thousands upon thousands of young people become cannon fodder in a nation that believes every fetus must be born, but then you are on your own!

Also, young people are being prevented from voting when they go away to colleges and universities in many “Red” states, because it is realized that they tend to be more “liberal” by being exposed to varying ideas outside of their family’s views, if they come from a household with little education beyond high school.

The more educated one is, the more likely they will tend to be Democrats, because they realize that life is more than just making money, but also to have compassion, empathy, decency, dignity, and care about human rights for more than just themselves!

So in the midst of difficult, stressful times, the future seems bright for Democrats and for “liberal” and “progressive” values, as the Republicans are alienating millions upon millions nationally who value women’s rights, gun protections, and voting rights!

Censorship Beginning In Trump Era: Promotion Of Mistrust Of News Media, College Professors, Entertainment Industry As The New McCarthyism!

It is becoming clear that Donald Trump intends to declare war on the news media, calling them dishonest and out to promote propaganda, while it is precisely Trump and his “Alt Right” White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor Stephen Bannon, formerly of Breitbart News, which is working to establish mistrust among the American people toward their own media that dares to challenge and investigate the many shortcomings of Donald Trump and his cabinet appointees, and his future policies in domestic and foreign affairs.

Additionally, a plan to list college professors who are felt to promote a leftist agenda, a reminder of McCarthyism in the 1950s, has been started by a group termed “Turning Point USA” under the name “Professor Watch List”, to intimidate professors from having freedom of speech in their classrooms. So academic “witch hunts” are back, in order to advocate a right wing educational system.

And the usual attack on liberals in Hollywood and the broad field of entertainment, is also clearly beginning, as censorship and attacks on civil liberties and civil rights groups are being encouraged, to attempt a total crackdown on dissent.

The ultimate goal is to sow distrust and doubt in the fields of journalism, education including universities and colleges, and the entertainment industry, including criticism of the humor of “Saturday Night Live” and other programs on cable, television, and radio, as well as film.

All this is advocated as part of the “fake news” which helped to undermine the Hillary Clinton campaign for President in 2016.

With an authoritarian oriented President coming to office, many elements of our basic freedoms of speech and press, and even assembly, are clearly under attack.

The Importance Of Higher Education Over A Lifetime Worth The Investment!

Propaganda has been going around, promoted by conservatives and Republicans, that higher education is not worth the investment, that many students end up with a debt that will take many years to pay off, so that, instead, it is better to avoid college education. Their goal, ultimately, is to promote ignorance and apathy among the masses, so as to advance their agenda of impoverishing the middle class and the poor!

Yes, college debt is a major problem, and the interest rates charged are ridiculous, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to promote legislation to lower rates, stating that an investment in the long term future should not become victim of greedy lenders!

While it is true that many college and university graduates cannot find work in their chosen field, and that it has become particularly difficult for recent college students to find appropriate work, one must think in the long run, not the short run, and the evidence is clear that a college education, over a lifetime, pays dividends in higher pay, a better lifestyle, and a much more enlightened citizenry!

College graduates on the average make at least double the income of non college graduates, and over a lifetime, about a half million dollars is lost if a person has not attended and graduated a four year degree.

Also, the level of satisfaction at work, and the knowledge base of a college graduate, is far greater than a non college graduate. A four year college degree is still the best ticket to the middle class for anyone who is struggling to make ends meet!

Debate Over Value Of College Education Rages!

This is a difficult year for graduates of colleges and universities all across America, with the high unemployment rate, and arguably the worst economic outlook that we have seen in many decades.

Not only are college graduates faced with a daunting challenge to find work that is relevant to their degrees. It is also the issue of finding any work at all.

But additionally, there is the growing debt faced by college graduates and graduate students, which can be the equivalent of a mortgage on a house, and set back the future of a graduate, and even more of couples who wish to marry, but face a dual debt of both to pay off, making it hard to see a future in the middle class.

So many have speculated that a college degree is not worth it, that learning a skilled trade is better, and that the value of a college education is overrated.

The answer to these assertions is to state that it is a terrible burden that college graduates face, but in the long run, it has been shown that they do earn higher salaries and have greater satisfaction in their work lives.

Additionally, having a college education allows someone to learn lots of things that expand one’s horizons, create new interests and hobbies, which are important for a full life.

Socially, one learns how to analyze, evaluate, debate, solve problems, and learn how to disagree agreeably during a college experience.

Having an education exposes people to others who are different and makes one more tolerant and open minded, not so quick to pass judgment based on hysteria or emotion.

Education is the way to promote a free society, and democracy, and fulfills the Jeffersonian idea of an America where over time, social and economic mobility are possible.

It is hard to imagine anyone who has been exposed to college who would argue that he or she gained nothing from the experience, and there are many intangibles that cannot be seen or understood at the time, but enrich our lives long term.

So to tell a young person, or even an older person, NOT to pursue higher education, is a fallacy and a fraud that undermines the long term future of individuals and American society!