Another Chink In Our Security

Here we go again:

A University of California-Los Angeles researcher has been arrested for allegedly throwing away a damaged hard drive while the FBI was investigating him for transferring sensitive U.S. data to China’s National University of Defense Technology.

As I noted in my post on a previous such incident, it would be a terrible thing if the spying motherfucker’s name was something like Professor Laydback Surferdude — but no, he’s an omelet-complexioned virus-spreader:

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that 29-year-old Guan Lei “falsely den[ied] his association with the Chinese military” during interviews with federal law enforcement officials. Lei has since admitted that he participated in Chinese military training.
According to authorities, one of Lei’s faculty advisors in China also served in the Chinese military.
The Justice Department further alleged that Lei hid digital files from federal law enforcement and lied about having contact with the Chinese consulate during his time in the U.S.

I’m generally not a huge fan of piling on offenses just to add to the sentence, but I’m going to make an exception in this case because the little prick is so young.  So:  destruction of evidence (20 years), lying to a federal agent (5 years) and espionage (25 years), all sentences to run consecutively.

Or we could just shoot him in the back of the head, and make his family pay for the bullet — it’s what the ChiComs do to spies, after all.

I’m getting heartily sick of both this spying nonsense, and the aiding and abetting being given by academia.

We need to clean house, thoroughly, by expelling all Chinese nationals from faculty positions in academia.  And before the profs start squealing about “loss of intellectual capital” or some such bullshit, I would suggest that the only loss of intellectual capital is being caused by having these spies sending our work back to their Commie bosses.  Should our academic wailers wish to continue to work with these assholes, they should be quite free to do so:  in China.

Shorter Degree

Via Insty I saw the redoubtable Joanne Jacobs’s take on this topic.  Back when I decided to go back to college, I was astonished to learn that a simple B.A. degree would take me four years to attain.  Four years?  Everywhere else in the world only requires three.

Then I studied the curriculum, and started to understand why the late Joseph Sobran lamented that in a single generation, our society had “progressed” from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to teaching remedial English at university — a.k.a. the “core curriculum” which required a full year to be wasted on shit like “how to write a sentence” (English 101), “how the U.S. and state governments work” (Pol Sci 001/002), “Math For Dummies” (Math 001), and so on.  Even a “trimmed” course load for this mandatory study looks dubious, as Jacobs notes:

[Greg] Poliakoff would require all students to take “expository writing, literature, a college-level mathematics course, a natural science course, an economics course, a survey in U.S. history or government, and three semesters of a foreign language.”

What a total waste of time, in my case at any rate.  Fortunately, there are ways to “test out” of various courses — for some reason, the fact that I had published three novels somehow persuaded the English Department that I wouldn’t need English 101, for instance — so I was able to reduce some of the bullshit course load, but still not enough to shorten the four years into three that way.

Next, I ran into the stupid restriction that only allows students to take on four courses per semester which, when I studied the course content, made it plain that I would be prevented from tackling five and even six, even though it was easily doable.  My pleas to the Arts Faculty to do so were rejected Because Rules — clearly, the rules are there to protect the Grease Pit Set and Snowflakes from actual hard work, whereas I could see at a glance that the content for all but the 4-level History courses was not only light but superficial.  (Without exception, my requests for a supplemental reading list for a course were met with a “you’re not from this planet” look from the various professors — one admitted to me that she had never received such a request from a student before.  At Wits University in Johannesburg back in the 1970s, every liberal arts course had a supplemental reading list which, while not officially required, was necessary if you wanted to actually pass the course.)

So I attacked the degree with ferocity, taking all the summer / winter vacation classes I could.  (Strange, isn’t it, that professors can teach a course in three weeks that takes a full semester otherwise?)

Anyway, with all that my B.A. still took me three and a half years*, simply because the course schedules often didn’t jell with my degree plan — the one course I needed for a French sub-major (Business French) wasn’t taught in any “summer-mester”, and clashed with a History class during the regular semester, so I ended up taking instead a useless class of English short stories (during which the professor admitted to me privately that I could have taught, let alone studied) and passing up on a French sub-major.

The cynic in me thinks that the overly-long undergraduate degree is driven simply by financial greed — one less year equals a loss of $30,000 in revenue per student — but I will concede that without the bullshit core curriculum, the failure / dropout rate would probably be much higher than it already is.  (And that, of course, is the fault of the high school education kids get these days, but don’t get me started.)

It’s a racket, pure and simple.


*summa cum laude (for my non-U.S. Readers, that means a 90%+ final grade for every course)

Irrelevant Institution

Over at the awful Forbes magazine, writer Stephen McBride opines thus:

Here’s some great news: one of America’s most broken industries is finally being exposed as a sham.  And make no mistake, the end of college as we know it is a great thing.
It’s great for families, who’ll save money and take on less debt putting kids through school.  It’s great for kids, who’ll no longer be lured into the socialist indoctrination centers that many American campuses have become.

He goes on to talk about the savings to be made and the investment opportunities (in companies which will rush to fill the void), but that’s not central to the theme of this post, other than to note that as college costs have ballooned, the return on investment has decreased while its concomitant debt has increased.  Simply put:  for a huge number of kids, college tuition is not only a gamble, but a bad one.

While I don’t quibble at all with the writer’s perspective on universities as propaganda outfits rather than places of learning, I have a somewhat different take on the whole thing.

I’ve written before on the wisdom of young people learning a trade prior to (or even instead of) going off to college, so I’m not going to repeat that thought.  Rather (and this is my difference with the above Forbes article), I think that colleges and universities have become less relevant to people’s education.  Other than careers which require intensive knowledge (engineering, medicine, bio-mechanics etc.), there’s very little a college degree can teach you that could not be equally imparted through a lengthy apprenticeship in that field.

And if any good has come of the Chinkvirus pandemic and its related effect on our lives, it’s that realization of how little a truly motivated person needs classroom instruction.  (As an aside, if the would-be student isn’t motivated to learn, college is absolutely the worst place for them to be, not only for the cost but also for the array of distractions extant.)

I can hear it now:  “Oh,” stupid parents will moan, “my little Jimmy / Susie / Jamaal / Shaniqua won’t learn anything from an online course because they’ll just play their online games instead.”

I’ve got news for you, O Stupid Parents:  your undisciplined and ineducable kids are already doing that, only they’re doing it in the lecture room.

The late, great and much-missed columnist Mike Royko once said (and I paraphrase because I’m speaking from memory) something like:  most people shouldn’t go to college;  they should become butchers or janitors.  Worse yet, he added, the problem with giving butchers and janitors college degrees is that they then go into business with the same intelligence level, only now they’ll be woefully under-qualified to be managers, because they should have been butchers or janitors.

Or, as Daughter so eloquently put it after her first semester at college:  “Most of these idiots belong in the grease pit at Jiffylube.”   After two years, she expanded that thought to include the professors.  (Lest we forget, this was a girl who taught herself Japanese at home while being homeschooled.)

And this is the problem with most college graduates these days:  they had no business going to college in the first place because they were either stupid or ineducable.  Now they can be found in the outside world suitably “qualified” by their degrees:  at best, they’re busy screwing up some enterprise in a middle-management position;  at worst, they can be found among the ranks of the rioters in Portland and Seattle.

So yes, I agree with McBride that most colleges will disappear, and good riddance.  The ones that survive should get a wake-up call, and realize that in business, nothing is truly irreplaceable — and yes, their beloved ivory towers are indeed just a business.

All I can hope for is that parents will point their kids at careers and activities that will not only be valuable as income streams, but that the kids will actually enjoy doing because they’ve discovered the psychological value of a job well done.

For the rest, there’s the grease pit at Jiffylube.  Good luck to them as they compete with hungry Third-World immigrants.

Killjoys

“I know:  let’s put in policies which outlaw any kind of fun, lest the Terminally Sensitive be offended in any way.”

That’s the thinking behind this move, apparently:

Oxford University has cracked down on ‘vicars and tarts’ and ‘pimps and hoes’ parties in case they are deemed offensive to non-binary students.

The prestigious university body said they could be deemed ‘problematic’ and may stereotype men or women in a highly objectified or sexualised role.

Uhhh I thought that was the whole point of the thing, but nemmind.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve been to costume (“fancy dress”) parties of the kind mentioned above.  On one occasion, I recall that a “Pimps ‘n Prostitutes” party competition was won by a couple dressed as a priest and a nun, with second place going to a girl who wore her former — and very posh — private girls’ school uniform for the occasion (see below for an example).  (That she was by then in her 30s made for quite an accomplishment, by the way;  and no, it hadn’t been altered.)

Never mind;  students are endlessly inventive in their schemes to outrage the university authorities, and I’m confident that the Oxonians will come up with something good.  (If not, and they just cower in the face of such stupidity, we’re all doomed.)


Incidentally, the pic above is of the Britpop group Girls Aloud.  Here they are in another version of the uniform thing:

Just trying to help my Murkin Readers understand this whole “school uniform” thing.  That’s me:  Mr. Helpful.

Residential Collectivization

As any fule kno, Communism is all about taking away the individual and replacing him with a cipher that can be controlled and manipulated by a benevolent Big Brother.  Here’s one such manifestation, in the ravings of some Marxist college professor [redundancy alert]:

“If we want to keep cities safe in the face of climate change, we need to seriously question the ideal of private homeownership,” says Kian Goh, who researches urban ecological design, “spatial politics” and social mobilization “in the context of climate change and global urbanization.”

Proposed solutions, including a public takeover of Pacific Gas & Electric, are missing one of the most important factors in climate change-driven destruction, Goh warns: “economic development, aspirations of home ownership, and belief in the importance of private property.”
To prevent catastrophe, Americans must reconsider their ideas about “success, comfort, home, and family,” particularly the single-family homes that followed in the wake of the Homestead Act of 1862 and federally backed mortgage insurance, the professor argues.
These policies benefited white middle-class families and “became synonymous with freedom and self-sufficiency” even though they represented “[e]xpansionist, individualist, and exclusionary patterns of housing.”

So having a house in the ‘burbs is a factor in Glueball Climate We’re All Gonna DIEEEEE! Catastrophe.

As we all know, of course, this whole climate bullshit manifesto is just a fig leaf covering the true aims of people like this asshole academic — there is no climate catastrophe looming —  but it sure as hell allows them to create their little model society, doesn’t it?

What really, really  scrapes these Commie bastards is that home ownership is the end result of individualism, provides the individual a stake in the society in which he lives, and provides for private security in his abode.  Private property ownership also means that people will, in the main, resist any and all efforts of the State to confiscate or otherwise appropriate it — and for the Commies, remember, there is no private property because all property belongs to the State.

So yeah, they’d prefer to have us all live in tiny, State-managed apartments in an urban environment, using public instead of private transport, and working for the State rather than for ourselves.

Already, the eeeevil automobile has been blamed for the non-existent growth of carbon emissions which is going to melt ice caps etc.  Now pricks like this Goh creature can add suburban homes to the list of eco-evils, which means that they too can be circumscribed, reduced and ultimately, banned.

Feel free to dispute anything you’ve read so far in this post, but you’d better have something more than emotion, slogans and hysteria in your argument.

“Spatial politics”, my fat African-American ass.

Snowflake Report

Good grief, why bother to go if clapping is going to intimidate you?

Snowflake students at Oxford University are the latest to demand that clapping should be banned because applause noise can trigger anxiety and want ‘jazz hands’ to be used instead.
The idea for a British sign language alternative for clapping involving the waving of hands was put forward at the student union’s first meeting of the year on Tuesday.
Sabbatical Officers Roisin McCallion, Vice President for Welfare and Equal Opportunity and Ebie Edwards Cole, Chair for Oxford SU Disabilities Campaign, successfully passed the motion to mandate the encouragement of silent clapping.

My suggestion is that for “clapping”, substitute “slapping”, but no doubt some fainting fairy is going to have a problem with that too.  And if the noise of clapping triggers that much anxiety in them, I wonder how they’d react to gunshots.

And note the caption for a couple of the pics:

Sabbatical Officers Roisin McCallion (left), Vice President for Welfare and Equal Opportunity and Ebie Edwards Cole (right), Chair for Oxford SU Disabilities Campaign, successfully passed the motion to mandate the encouragement of silent clapping

Yep, that’s what education is all about.  “Sabbatical Officer and VP Welfare and Equal Opportunity”, my aching ass.

And to think that one of my greatest dreams once was to attend Oxford.