AAUP Takes UIUC to Task for Apparent Summary Dismissal

Mike:

It seems there will be some resistance to the craziness at Urbana Champaign.

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

The AAUP today wrote to University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign chancellor Phyllis Wise to express deep concern about actions taken against professor Steven Salaita. “Aborting an appointment in this manner without having demonstrated cause has consistently been seen by the AAUP as tantamount to summary dismissal, an action categorically inimical to academic freedom and due process and one aggravated in his case by the apparent failure to provide him with any written or even oral explanation,” the letter says, adding that Salaita should receive full pay until the university’s Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which has initiated an examination of the case, has concluded its proceedings.

The full letter may be found here:  http://aaup.org/file/AAUPLetterChancellorWise.pdf

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BOOOOOOOOOM! New Hampshire Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Tax Credit Program

Mike:

Having choices can improve everything, even education.

Originally posted on Jay P. Greene's Blog:

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Instant analysis from Jason Bedrick.  Ironically enough the Florida School Boards Association and other members of the public school non-profit industrial complex filed suit again the Florida tax credit today. Florida judges would do well to apply the question of harm (and thus standing) to these litigants, because the reality is that Florida public schools have far more money, more students, and employ more people today than before the Florida tax credit passed. The state appointed academic evaluator (and others) have found that part of the source for the remarkable improvement in public schools originated from the tax credit program.  The districts would have higher enrollment in the absence of the program, but they have local funding to cover their fixed costs and have been dealing with enrollment growth for decades and will deal with more in decades to come.

I’d love to hear…

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Name that wildflower, please!

We were at my father-in-law’s “gradina” (be sure to roll the “r” a little) outside of Bucharest a couple of weeks ago. To escape the “pick up the plums” work everybody else was doing in order to make a little tsuica one of these days I decided to look around the garden for interesting things to photograph. Hey, I was on vacation! :-) Anyway, I came across a pretty flower that nobody could name. So, I’m asking my Romanian friends and anybody else who might know to help me name this beauty. Any ideas?

Obese preschoolers already show signs of health problems | Fox News

Mike:

Just observing people with their kids on the street, there are a lot of overweight kids.

Originally posted on Learn about nutrition with me!:

Obese preschoolers already show signs of health problems | Fox News

Some overweight and obese preschoolers may already have risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, a new study from Italy suggests.

The study involved more than 5,700 healthy children ages 2 to 6 who visited pediatricians in Rome between 2011 and 2012. Of these children, about 600 (about 10 percent) had become overweight or obese within the last year, and the researchers ran detailed blood tests about 200 of these children for the study.

They found that nearly 40 percent of these children had at least one abnormal reading in their metabolism such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated blood sugar or low levels of “good” cholesterol which, in studies of adults, have been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. About one-third of the children had nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or a buildup of fat deposits in the liver.via Obese preschoolers already…

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Panoramic photography in Gaza shows shocking extent of the destruction

Photographers have given us an amazing amount of information about the wanton destruction that has occurred in Gaza over the past six weeks. Now a site featuring panoramic photography shows us even more and includes a Google map to help the viewer locate the scenes.

gazapano

 

Baywatch Gaza edition with Mohamad Bar, Gaza’s most dedicated lifeguard

Baywatch Gaza edition. There’s an interesting article in BusinessInsider about lifeguard Mohamed Bar and keeping Gaza’s beaches safe for Gazans even during the recent war.

It’s a world away from the glitz and glamour of “Baywatch”, but in time of war Gaza’s most devoted lifeguard is passionate about keeping the beach a little bit safer.

“I only love two things in my life: rescue work and people,” said Mohammed Bar, 21, dressed in black trunks and a white municipality T-shirt as he scans the horizon from his watchtower.

“I have lots of good memories with the sea. It is my whole life, it is my friend, my brother, my family, it is everything for me.”

Armed with a whistle and flippers at the ready, he keeps a stern gaze on the horizon as groups of youngsters dive in and out of the waves, soaking themselves in the frothy surf.

Hopefully, beach life will quickly return to normal, but during the seven-week war, Bar still turned up for work each day during temporary ceasefires, the only lifeguard to do so.

“Baywatch” — the hit US show that captivated millions with busty blondes in tight red bathing suits that Bar has never seen — is written on the only buoy hanging up in his rickety wooden tower.

He would love a jet ski, he says, but Israel’s eight-year blockade on Gaza and a lack of cash have put paid to that.

“The sea is the only place in Gaza where people can breathe. We are in a big prison,” he said, speaking before the truce agreement allowed partial opening of border crossings.

In the distance a boy does backflips in the sand. Heavily veiled women sit on white plastic chairs next to a beach umbrella, chatting.

A hawker walks up and down selling rubber rings. Some young men lead horses into the water, for a bath and cooling off in the late afternoon sun before galloping away across the sand.

Bar has not been paid his salary of 190 euros ($255) for three months because Hamas, Gaza’s de facto ruler, has run out of cash, cut off by the regime in Egypt who have destroyed cross-border tunnels for smuggling in money.

“In a normal situation there should be seven guards but now I’m the only one on the beach,” he told AFP from his rickety perch.

“They don’t come because of the security situation. The war has swallowed up the summer and people are scared.”

On average, he pulls people to safety three to five times a week. His last rescue was just a few days ago.

“I was on my motorbike on the road when I saw a group of people drowning. If I hadn’t been coming then by chance, I wouldn’t have seen them and they would have died,” he said.

He became a lifeguard when he was 16 after watching his neighbor, Nasser, drown in the sea. He decided it would never happen again.

But there was nothing Bar could do to stop the war.

His home in Zeitun in southeastern Gaza City was destroyed in the fighting and he is staying at an uncle’s house.

He says two of his friends, both civilians, were killed and that he’s grown out his bushy beard as a mark of respect for their loss.

He also cancelled the swimming lessons he used to give three mornings a week from 6:00 am.

Underneath his tower, a small group of women sit in the shade, sharing a pot of hot, sweet tea and wondering if and when peace will ever return for good to Gaza.

 

Why the Salaita Firing Violates University of Illinois Statutes

Mike:

Political correctness and lawlessness at the University of Illinois.

Originally posted on The Academe Blog:

Most of the debate about why the firing of Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois was wrong has centered on three areas: contract law (he already had an effective contract), Constitutional law (he was punished for his political views by a government entity), and the principles of academic freedom (he was punished for his extramural utterances in violation of AAUP principles). But there is also a fourth area where the University of Illinois infringed upon Salaita’s rights: the firing also violated the University of Illinois Statutes. To understand why, it’s useful to examine some misunderstandings of the AAUP principles and then explain how the University of Illinois Statutes are even more protective of extramural utterances than the AAUP.

George Leef of the Pope Center argues,

In its 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom, the American Association of University Professors said there should be some limits, in particular…

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