Great piece Bari. Two comments. Great folks like Rossi and the parents in Virginia (and elsewhere) are being branded by our government as domestic terrorists while DOJ and DHS ( memo last week per Nellie B) allow senators and violent protesters to intimidate SCOTUS justices with impunity and go out of their way to say those actions even if violent do not rise to the level of being acts of terrorists. Second, we ( through our government) fund the propaganda on campus by facilitating the massive student debt and inflated administrations on college campuses and their ridiculous salaries. Hopefully these types of issues will be the key ones come November.

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As a mom to a child finishing her sophomore year of HS, believe me I am looking carefully at possible colleges for her. This woke crap scares the daylights out of me! Even her HS has some ideas that I’m not so thrilled with. We just have to keep fighting the good fight!

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There is a reason that many Professor are silent to this insanity that is affecting US Universities. They are not ones in charge of their Universities, but are mere employees (tenured but still employees). University administrations runs schools and they call the shots. Sadly administrations are fully affected by woke virus, and any resistance is to be crushed with upmost brutality. They will not just fire you, but will make sure that you are unemployable, rendering your entire career dead end.

This sadly reminds me of times of "red scare", when people were black listed even with no evidence of wrong doing. But those times were different, it was work of journalist that brought that insanity to the end. But wokeness is different beast entirely, it has spread from Universities to newspapers and other media also to our biggest companies, to such extent that many companies are ready to run them self to ground, just to ponder to woke crowd.

Personally, I thing that there is only one way to fix this issue at Universities, and that is to introduce only merit based admissions and stop forsing students to take woke subjects as mandatory courses. This would mean that we would lose many "quality" woke tenures that literally don't benefit students except increasing tuition fees.

Second thing stop giving student loans for everything. US doesn't need any more bachelors of gender/art studies and similar subjects that guarantee unemployment but only settle people with debt. Student loans should be only given for subjects that have earnings potential such is STEM or Medicine. This would finally put stop this gravy train where collages use endless supply of cash brought by irresponsible student loans.

If something is not done soon, one of the greatest American achievements, our higher education system, will be irreparably damaged, as it drifts from its goal of education to indoctrination.

They don't say with out reason, go woke go broke. If it was any other country doing this to it self, i might have laugh and thought they are crazy, but this is hitting close to home.

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Slightly off topic but in the same universe.... Over dinner last night, my daughter told the tale of one of her professors this past semester. Students in the class began demanding that he make the final exam online instead of in-person. He initially refused, but they repeatedly cited COVID fears. Perhaps fearing the inevitable backlash/protest, etc., however, he eventually gave in. Almost immediately, regular class attendance dropped by 80+ percent. Oh, and this was an upper-division class. AND, the final exam was ultimately a joke. AND, the professor wound up apologizing to the remaining 20 percent or so, including my daughter, who continued to regularly come to class and do the work. Her diagnosis (she's a psychology major) is that the COVID response broke her school and created a class of entitled college students who simply don't want to work for their grades. Now, this may be isolated, but I have a feeling it isn't. For her part, she's very concerned about what the Class of COVID will mean for higher-ed and this country.

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My daughters attended a law school graduation in NYC last week. They said it was the most irrational, unhinged, nightmare of an event they had ever witnessed. It was so bad, my future son-in-law – a mild-mannered Brit with a stiff-upper lip and easy going personality - got up and stormed out of the building.

For two hours, they were lectured and hectored by bitter, angry people who should have been celebrating but instead were spewing hateful rhetoric about how everyone and everything was racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, white supremacist and most of all...wait for it...ZIONIST.

The battle cry of the event was, "This is the year squatters evict their landlords."

In other words, to hell with property rights, even though they are the very foundation of a civilized society.

They concluded the event by reciting an oath "to uphold the law with impartiality." My daughters said they literally laughed aloud at the absurdity.

We are in trouble, friends. We are in very deep trouble.

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I found it interesting that the NYT has published an article about Lucy Calkins one of the leading whole book literacy gurus suddenly embracing the concept of phonics thanks to the *new* research into brain science etc. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/22/us/reading-teaching-curriculum-phonics.html

Given that the US basic literacy rate is so poor, it is possibly time to stop following fashionable ideas such as Calkin espoused -- bottom of the G7 and near bottom of the G20, California's literacy rate is close to Rwanda's and to go back to basics such as teaching literacy and numeracy to a standard in public education which will enable home grown human capital to compete effectively in the labor market. Literacy as the UN has pointed out allows all other human rights to happen. It is the most effective way of levelling up societies.

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I am shocked and sickened by what’s happening on campuses- all schools ! Honestly this whole country is such a mess - can’t imagine how anyone could support a liberal after seeing what is going on - our country is broken !

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I am a staff member at a university and some things I just eye-roll and stay silent because they seem silly and it's not worth the fight. For example, before most meetings the meeting leader will thank the Native American tribe on whose original land the university sits. This is a completely empty gesture--if the university leaders cared that much about Native American land they would give it back but, of course, that won't ever happen and if I suggested that I would likely just get blank stares.

Other things I find a bit more annoying. For example, two-day training on preventing sexual harassment. I fully agree sexual harassment is wrong, should not be tolerated, and that there should be no dating relationships between employees and supervisors or employees/teachers and students but does it really take two days to convey an idea that could be conveyed in 10 minutes?

Then there are the things that are downright disturbing. I've been "strongly discouraged" from cooperating with the police on a theft, and "strongly encouraged" to meet racial quotas even though those quotas don't officially exist. Fortunately, the obsession with race just doesn't exist among most young people I interact with--they hang out with friends who are from all different races and backgrounds as it should be.

It's also encouraging to me that most of the young people I interact with are much more middle of the road than you would think from all of the campus activists. The problem is they're afraid to state their views or, worse, the suppression of their views lead them to become trolls on the internet out of anger and then be exposed to vileness of ultra-right (and ultra-left) web sites.

People will ALWAYS find a way to express their views and if there isn't a constructive way to do it (free and open debate) then it will be done in a non-constructive way.

P.S.: I would be willing to bet anyone here that at least 50% of posts on mainstream social media web sites are not the opinions of actual people but bots, troll farms, etc. Schools need to spend more time teaching students to critically evaluate information sources and move away from rote learning, especially when most information can be quickly looked up when needed.

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Thanks for reminding that our educational institutions are central to the deceptions. They have descended into propaganda led institutions dedicated to indoctri-think. All the young Moms I know bravely take on Home Schooling. We grandparents support it. Our schools have become so thoroughly dangerous the thought of subjecting a child to this brings a shudder. Our universities have descended into propaganda factories. Other than teaching mistruth they exist to advertise to their victimized students and families to convince them to leave their estates behind to support the continuing aims of these criminal institutions. Doubt if you could find a class in the World Economic Forum which speaks to any truth of it on any campus. But I’m quite sure the WEF is there recruiting.

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"But it’s not all bad news" Bari - I would love to agree with you and I hope you are right long term. In the short term I see small wins here and there, but 95% of our education system is still solidly in the grip of what I consider nutcases. I taught mathematics at a community college for ten years, and huge numbers of our high school graduates cannot do basic math or write a coherent paragraph, but they can all describe a variety of genders, and many are happy to describe the evils of capitalism.

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May 23, 2022·edited May 23, 2022

The rot was in full view during my university days. In 1997 an English department chair was a very closeted conservative. I know this because I showed up at his office with WSJ one morning and during our meeting I mentioned something in one of the editorials.

He admitted he read the WSJ too but glancing around I didn’t see a single paper.

He said he had it delivered to his home.

As time went on and he grew to trust me he told me he didn’t dare let his true sociopolitical ideas be known around campus lest his position be more threatened than it already was.

I couldn’t believe he was that afraid of the lunatics I met and argued with on campus but he was right after all.

Like all rot there are two options:

1. Cut out the rot and let the whole heal or

2. Let the whole die and start over.

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Bari observes "It’s hard to think of a system that deserves a shake-up more than one that has resulted in $1.7 trillion of debt. In which young people are paying upward of $80,000 a year for degrees that don’t guarantee a job."

Not only that don't guarantee a job but that guarantee that one is unemployable at any job that entails responsibility, accountability and actual thinking. But why should we be surprised at the levels of anger, nihilism and hopelessness among our young? We have a nation ruled by a gerontocracy. A president who is a senile imbecile. A Speaker of the House who is distractedly demented. A Senate that is 71% over the age of 70. All around the young see hobbling geezers in charge, living lives they can't hope to achieve. Now with the mess that Biden and his gerontocracy has made, young working families struggle to fill up their gas tanks and put food on their table.

How do you expect someone who paid $80 K per year to feel upon graduating? Something is very wrong in America. And it needs to be fixed now. Starting with replacing the demented geezer at the top.

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This piece from Bari hits a home run for me. As a natural systems-thinking problem solver from my decades as a corporate manager of organizational change, I traced back to the root cause of what is messed up... and it absolutely our campuses. It is also largely female... I am sorry to write.

The same mental, emotional & psychological characteristics of young people that make them such a great fit for soldiering, are also a danger to society if their energy and enthusiasm is not directed to productive activities. Otherwise, they are nihilistic little bombs with their fuses ready to light.

For young males, their frontal lobe develops slower. They are not as organized and not as focused as are females. Males tend to require more physical activity to feed their needs. Young females on the other hand can sit still in their seat while they work on their plan to take over the world. However, neither has the wisdom of a life lived and both are prone to myopic passionate pursuits driven more by their "need to feel" group acceptance and validation than it being a serious conviction of mind. But repeat any "thinking" long enough, and it imprints and is very difficult to scrub out. That is the secret of cults.

It used to be a process where the little darlings would do their radical thing for 4 years and then get a job, get married, have kids, raise a family. These steps injected that missing life-lived wisdom that they lacked during their childish existence. The light bulb would come on for most of them. Their minds would be scrubbed of their childish views.

But we gutted so much of our economic opportunity... especially that for males. We effed up the system with idiotic social engineering policies that broke the delicate balance of a capitalist market system. That caused capital to benefit three guys at the top rather than the population of workers.

We are in trouble now. The kids are not only NOT launching into a life of meaningful work, they are developing anti-work attitudes. The kids are rejecting marriage, family and all the things that would put them on a productive path. Because they are developing any real wisdom of a life lived, and are dragging their radical campus ideas into mainstream society.

And most of this is driven by college educated females... the gender that by evolution has been gifted with the innate skills of organization, and a propensity to favor a collectivist approach and system.

What we are experiencing is societal death by collectivist matriarchy.

What we need to do to save western society is to pull it back to a form of libertarian paternalism (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_paternalism). How we do that is by first passing education reform laws that given parents more rights over the teachers unions and administrators. We stop providing federal money for any school, including student loan government guarantees, embedding any ideological programming into text and curriculum.

But the most important thing we need to do is to bring back industry, manufacturing jobs and invest in education reforms that develop more skills in the trades. We need to incentivize work. We also need to break up the largest corporations. We need to spur investment in small business. We need to implement policies that prevent real estate speculation so capital goes to other investments that benefit more than the real estate holder. We should enhance tax incentives for marriage and family.

And we need to absolutely oppose Universal Basic Income as this will just hyper-accelerate the nihilism of the collectivist matriarchy.

Lastly, there are easy questions to ask to identify people infected with the toxic mind virus of wokeism. Those people are damaged and need help, but until they get it, they should not be in any position of power and influence.

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While I appreciate your attention to the issue of campus insanity, Bari, your only an early warner of this issue in your own liberal bubble. "The Closing of the American Mind" was published in the 80's. There was a small army of conservatives ringing alarm bells over campus political correctness and hypersensitivity as far back as the late 90's and early 2000's. You team's response was generally something like "oh, look at the conservative geezers complaining about the kids today." In the next breath, almost invariably, was the "they're old and white and the demographics are on our side, so we really don't need to worry about them."

As I've said before, you are working your way out of a very deep progressive bubble. I was a die-hard libertarian in the early 90's, so I know how hard it is to change your outlook on the world. I commend you for even trying; most adults lack the courage to ever question their most deeply held beliefs. Let alone take significant risks to stand up for them.

I remain very concerned that you will throw us deplorables under the bus as soon as you think you don't need us to defeat the woke anymore. However, you and Nellie are gradually winning me over. You keep trying to connect with us conservatives, and I'll keep trying to forget all those decades of liberals calling me a homophobic racist.

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As a Hillsdale mom and donor, I’m obviously vested in and biased toward the place. For parents wondering about content, check out the Hillsdale courses online. I’m also thrilled for the initial success of UATX. It’s been lonely for us out here committed to institutions that firmly believe in the truth of the Western Canon.

That said, many, many kids graduate from Hillsdale with big debt and no jobs. (It’s just not federal debt.) An institution won’t fix what ails American higher education.

We have to change the mindset of students and parents, who believe that paying $320,000 for four years in New Haven or $190,000 in Hillsdale, MI, should guarantee kids not just a job, but one that covers their debt and allows them to continue to live the cushy lives they’re accustomed to. What’s that they say say about guarantees, death, and taxes?

Here in CT, things are totally hosed up. A few random points as evidence.

— By state law, ALL eleventh graders must take the SAT as the state skills assessment. Talk about sending a message.

— Our flagship university UCONN is woefully in debt — dare I say bankrupt.

— And several years back, then- President Obama came Central Connecticut State University to argue for the $15/hour minimum; pointing to the Greek chorus of CCSU students behind him, many owing tens of thousands of dollars, he said kids like these needed a living wage. Parents didn’t send these kids to that school so they could earn minimum as graduates. Yet there those kids were, worse off than on the day they sat for their first class.

As corrupt as CT is, we’re not alone.

I don’t know how to fix the FUBAR that is our educational system. Personally, I’ve stopped asking high schoolers if and where they’re going to college upon graduation. I simply ask, “What’s next” and respond a little more exuberantly to the wise grads who say they’re getting jobs and thinking about their next moves.

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May 23, 2022·edited May 23, 2022

Really appreciate your thoughts here, Bari. I think the real problem we face here is change comes slow, and unlike at other times, there is a massive impediment to needed change by the insane Wokeists who run the media, run the Democratic Party, and who thanks to Obama are entrenched bureaucrats in the halls of power of America like in the military, DOJ, FBI, NSA, and CIA.

I would really like to see Common Sense tackle that last part, because when Obama said he wanted to “transform” America, no one, even those who voted for him, truly understood what he had planned and just how much he succeeded. He and his Admin cronies had eight years to silently hunt down everyone they knew in every department of the federal government that voted Republican and force them out. They refused to promote good military officers for years and years they knew were conservatives to the point where those officers, mostly O-4s and O-5s, quit. It was the sock puppets like Milley who got promotions, and who now run our nation’s formerly great military under Woke principles. He did the same in all those other institutions. Why do you think that FBI Agents are all too eager to investigate non-criminal American parents as Domestic Terrorists? That they’d be willing to do this without running up the flag of how wrong that is? Because there isn’t anyone left at the FBI who thinks differently than the Wokeists who run the Biden Admin, that’s why.

Someone really needs to shine a light on the damage Obama did to our institutions by purging all thought he didn’t agree with over the course of eight long years. Common Sense could be that light.

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