Category Archives: United States

The Mizzou protesters are muzzling us

‘Privileged’, ‘racist’ and ‘bigot’ – these are the words protesters at the University of Missouri are using to discredit their critics. Apparently only those who agree with the protests – which were sparked over allegations that administrators were not doing enough to combat racism on campus – are worthy of the ‘love’ and ‘support’ that they claim is central to their movement.

The protesters believe they have the moral highground; they are attempting to silence anyone they disagree with – and it seems to be working. There is now a climate of fear at the University of Missouri, as students who disagree with the protesters, their demands or the methods they use are afraid to speak out lest they be labelled ‘racist’ and reported to the authorities. Critics are being told that it is better for them to bite their tongues than to have their say, since anything less than total agreement is presented as the equivalent of spouting racial slurs. When students do decide to share their views, they are met with personal attacks and social-media harassment. Some have even been told that they ought to kill themselves – which is more than a mere ‘microaggression’.

Read the rest on spiked here.

Government’s college scorecard misleads students

In mid-September, the Department of Education released their government scorecard of America’s higher learning institutions. Prior to the release, President Obama promised the American people that it would contain “reliable data on every institution of higher education.” But the scorecard fails on both counts.

Despite the president’s promise, the scorecard fails to provide reliable data, nor does it include every institution of higher learning. Parents and students attracted by the scorecard’s ease of use and accessibility could easily be blindsided by the incomplete and skewed information it provides.

The first fatal flaw of the scorecard is its dependence upon incomplete and mismatched data. Unlike private rankings and scorecards which try to present that most holistic data possible, much of the government statistics are based exclusively on data received through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). At first glance, it must be pointed out that the data tends to be focused on students are more economically disadvantaged than their peers and leaves out a large and important part of college student data.

Read the rest on The Hill here.

Technology Could End the Horrible Thanksgiving Drive – If We Let It

Thanksgiving travel is about to get much easier

This week, 42 million Americans will hop into their cars and arduously travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday, driving over 214 miles on average. In the near future, this may not be the norm: driverless cars will liberate us from the headache and frustration of long holiday commutes.

This dynamic technology will produce tangible benefits to the environment, the economy, and most importantly, human well-being. But only if lawmakers get out of the way.

Autonomous vehicles are automobiles that operate independently of human control. Once mere science fiction, this technology will soon become the most important technological advancement of the twenty-first century. It will revolutionize transportation as we know it — just as the Internet revolutionized communications and knowledge sharing in ways we could have never envisioned.

Currently, over 25 companies are working on developing this technology, and many are progressing closer to usable consumer models. Theoretically, these vehicles could be driving on highways within the decade. The only factor that might stop mass deployment of these vehicles is the tendency for government to concoct misguided regulations.

Legislators may have good intentions at heart, but their ideas will only delay widespread availability of this pioneering technology.

Read the full article at