The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for December 24th, 2008

AWESOME CHRISTMAS VIDEO: While You Were Sleeping

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

God elevated him to the place of highest honor
and gave him the name above all other names,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:9-11)

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Youtube Banning Christian Video’s (Again)

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

This banned producer of these videos for this man’s ministry started a new account to post these:

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Media Research Center: Shoddy Journalism Awards for 2008

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

The MRC has amassed 18 pages of video clips from television news of the most outrageous examples of media bias this year. There mere fact that it took 18 pages of clips to show you just how ridiculous the elite media has become is a sobering statement on the status of journalism today.

Here is the link http://www.mediaresearch.org/notablequotables/bestof/2008/welcome.asp

Several of NBC’s sexist attacks against Governor Palin made the list:

“If Sarah Palin becomes Vice President, will she be shortchanging her kids or will she be shortchanging the country?”
— NBC reporter Amy Robach on Today, September 3.

Download the video HERE.

Obama has small kids at home, JFK had small kids at home, several presidents have and so have many male and female governors, but the males never got comments or questions like that did they?

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New York Times Revenue Down 20%

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

My heart bleeds…. The NYT has done more to undermine journalistic ethics and standards than any other news outfit.

NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Reuters) – The New York Times Co’s (NYT.N) November advertising revenue fell 20 percent, the company said on Wednesday, illustrating how the financial crisis is aggravating dizzying revenue declines at U.S. newspapers.

Ad revenue at the publisher’s New York Times Media Group, which includes the Times newspaper, fell 21.2 percent from a year earlier because of a drop in real estate and jobs classified advertising.

Studio entertainment, automotive, book and financial services ads also were weak, the Times said in a statement.

The New England unit, which includes The Boston Globe newspaper, as well as the group representing its other U.S. papers, also fell.

Total company revenue fell 13.9 percent.

http://www.reuters.com/article/technology-media-telco-SP/idUSN2426545720081224?feedType=RSS&feedName=technology-media-telco-SP&rpc=22&sp=true

Karl Rove compares the NYT to Pravda

Karl Rove on media bias and the Blagojevich scandal

Here at the IUSB Vision we have a category called “Journalism is Dead” – recently we have written two articles about outrageous media corruption:

More Lies from the Elite Media: 60 Minutes and New York Times

and

Good News: Obama’s Staff Declares Themselves Innocent in Blago Probe – Elite Media Says That’s Good Enough for Us.

The Media Research Center has compiled 18 pages of video clips containing the worst examples of media bias in television news check it out HERE.

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Kosovo Names Street After President Bush

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

And the left says that the United States is loathed by the world. France, Germany and England all have pro-American governments.

AFP:

Kosovo decided Wednesday to name a central street of its capital Pristina after outgoing US President George W. Bush for his support of the territory’s split from Serbia.

Backed unanimously by Kosovo’s cabinet, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said the move was “a sign of the huge state and national respect and appreciation” for the United States’ contribution to independence, declared earlier this year.

Located in Pristina’s downtown area, Bush Street is to be linked to the main thoroughfare named after Mother Teresa, the 1979 Nobel Peace Laureate of Albanian origin.

Separately, the government pledged 5,000 euros (7,000 dollars) towards a statue honouring Bush’s predecessor, Bill Clinton, popular in ethnic Albanian-majority Kosovo over NATO’s 1999 air war against Serb forces.

The three-metre (10-foot) tall statue, a project started in 2007, is to stand in a square of Pristina, which already has a Bill Clinton Boulevard graced by a 7.5 metre-high mural of the former US leader.

The United States was one of the first of more than 50 countries to recognise the independence of Kosovo, which is staunchly opposed by Serbia and its ally Russia.

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=081224144851.mzptko0i&show_article=1

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Fair, Balanced & Unafraid: Brit Hume Retiring from Evening News

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

Brit Hume, who is likely the best and brightest journalist alive, has retired from his news show “Special Report with Brit Hume” today.

When Dan Rather, Charlie Gibson, Peter Jennings, and Tom Brokaw gave a news story, they gave the same stories, with the same leftist spin and often with talking heads that all sounded alike. Even was I was eight years old I remember very well that I never trusted them.

The only ones who were ever different when I was growing up were Brit Hume and Chris Wallace. While I am still old enough to remember Walter Cronkite and David Brinkley as I became politically aware they were doing news specials and the like and less of the daily evening news broadcasts.

As a writer, journalist, and news analyst no one has had more influence upon me than Brit Hume and while my writing still might not yet meet his standards I can say that I would not have the skills I have today if it were not for Brit Hume’s example.

Hume will be doing more commentary and specials, but has indicated that he will fill in on “Special Report” from time to time.  I can’t wait to see what Brit Hume has in store for us next. Below is a tribute to Brit that was aired on “Special Report” today:

Special thanks to Hotair.com for posting the video.

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Vigilante Justice on Plagiarism – How Both Sides Went Wrong

Posted by iusbvision on December 24, 2008

We have all seen the article in Insider Higher Ed.

Loye Young, an adjunct professor at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) was teaching a Management of Information Technology Systems (MIS) course as an adjunct for the university. He is the owner of a well respected computer business and was asked to teach the course as a favor to those he knew at the university. Knowing what adjuncts are paid, he certainly didn’t do it for the money.

Prof. Young took the names of six students he believed plagiarized some of their work and published their names on his blog.

Prof. Young made it crystal clear in his syllabus that students caught plagiarizing would be humiliated publicly. His syllabus was approved by the department. The university Honor Code states:

Instructors, administrators, and staff share in the responsibility and authority to challenge and make known acts that violate the TAMIU Honor Code.

Instructors are expected to take proactive steps to promote academic integrity including, but not limited to, adding language to their syllabi that describes prohibited academic behavior and the consequences of such activity, and having an open discussion about academic integrity with students in their courses early in the semester. Additionally, instructors are expected to enforce prohibitions against academic dishonesty as required by the TAMIU Faculty Handbook, Section 5.7 (page 81, 2007-2008 edition). Specifically, they are expected to enforce specified grade penalties for cheating or plagiarism, as outlined in their syllabi or as required by their department, college, or the Faculty Handbook (Section 5.7). When the grade penalty for a severe breach of the Honor Code leads to an automatic “F” in the course (as is likely to be the case for extensive or intentional plagiarism, cheating on an exam, etc.), faculty must report such cases to their chairs, deans, and the provost, who will in turn notify the Honors Council so that a record may be kept of the incident. Less severe breaches of the Honor Code may also be reported in the same manner and for the same reason (emphasis mine).

The honor code can certainly be interpreted to support Prof. Young’s action. The word “OR” that I have in bold face makes his interpretation a plausible one and, once again the department did review and approve his syllabus.

According to Insider Higher Ed the university fired Prof. Young saying that he “violated the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, a federal law known widely as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA, which generally bars the release of educational records about students without their permission”.

Young says that the law applies to “university records only” so the law does not apply to his blog, but once a grade becomes official in the transcript, the instructor of the course making public the letter grade of a student for a course certainly falls within the spirit of the law, or any instructor or administrator could do the same thing. Also it really depends on what a judge or a jury will consider a “university record”. A judge or jury could define it as the letter grade assigned by the instructor period, in which case Mr. Young would be in violation.

Having read the FERPA law, I can see that it is a bit murky, so it would be wise to error on the side of caution.

The legalities are not really what is at issue. The real questions are, did Prof. Young do the right thing, and did the university administration do the right thing by firing Prof. Young? In both cases I say no and in both cases I fault both Prof. Young and the university administration for what they didn’t do.

Where Did Prof. Young Go Wrong?

First and foremost, Prof. Young did not give the students due process before he published their names. I have a HUGE problem with that.

Being the former Chief Justice of the Student Government, I have intervened on several cases where a professor accused a student of academic misconduct and in most of these cases the professor was in the wrong. Some of these cases involved an accusation of plagiarism. This does not mean that every case of academic misconduct is a bogus accusation, but in these particular cases the students were willing to fight and knew I could help them.

In one of the plagiarism cases the student had obtained permission to write a term paper on a similar subject to one written for another class, however the subject was approached from a substantially different angle than the first paper. One paper was about 18 pages long and the second paper in which the professor charged plagiarism on was about a 40 pager. In both papers the evidence and sources cited were largely the same and were placed in a “stating the problem” section at the beginning of the paper. Obviously evidence that is quoted and cited and briefly explained is going to be very close and some parts exact, but the rest of both papers after the evidence was stated were original.

At this point it became about a professors ego versus a student’s protest. I was able to convince that professor’s supervisor that this was not plagiarism and just an honest mistake by the professor who had viewed just the first few pages of each paper and charged plagiarism. Another academic misconduct charge involved ideological bias against the student and another case was in reality a prolonged “personality conflict” with a student that had gotten personal.

Due process at a university is usually is weighted heavily against the student anyways because university employees are very reluctant to side against each other in favor of a student even in cases where the facts are in the student’s favor.There have been times where the administration or faculty have declared a student guilty of something and when reasonable arguments did not sway those involved to to the right thing, leveraging them with the possibility of public exposure and legal action did. A simple examination of FIRE’s web site or the Alliance Defense Fund’s web site has countless examples of just such conduct.

The part of Inside Higher Ed’s article that has gotten the most attention has been this paragraph.

Several faculty members, speaking privately because they didn’t want to anger administrators, said that they were taken aback by the way the university appeared to be viewing plagiarism as an issue requiring more due process for students, not more support for professors. For the university to follow the dismissal of an adjunct with this reminder, they said, left them feeling that they couldn’t bring plagiarism charges. Further, many said that they believed it was a professor’s right to award an F to a plagiarizer and that this should not require an honors council review.

I hate to burst your bubble professors, but no one has a right to unilaterally convict a student of academic misconduct and give them an F. Such an act would affect a student for life and no one, not even a professor with the PhD cloak of infallibility, deserves that kind of power – ever. If they did, it would not be long before that power is abused.

Prof. Young said in this taped interview that one of the six students wished to challenge the plagiarism charge.

Plagiarism Charges in General

In some plagiarism cases, especially cases involving freshman or sophomores, the students were not well instructed in the details of proper citation. It happens. Most freshman are required to take a basic college writing class similar to our W-130 course where they learn about plagiarism and proper citation.  Sometimes that class is full or cannot fit in a student’s first year schedule. I received a bye on that class because of my writing skills shown on the entrance exam. While I never plagiarized any work, in the beginning of my academic career I did incorrectly cite things on some papers that professors helped me get up to speed on. Certain Asian cultures consider it honoring an elder to use the same words that they use as a way of passing wisdom from one generation to the next. Lots of these 100 level classes are taught by adjuncts that are here one semester and gone the next, so there is very little consistency from one class to the next.

So how does IUSB handle plagiarism cases?

I am pleased to report that IUSB has a pretty good system for dealing with student’s who seem genuinely accused of plagiarism. Students who are credibly accused of plagiarism on their first offense are given a special course on plagiarism administered by the Dean of Students Office.  After a student has taken this course there really is no excuse to make such mistakes again so any future cases of credible plagiarism can be dealt with.

The bottom line, due process is there not just to protect the student, but to protect the professor from honest mistakes and to protect the university from professors who just screw up or behave foolishly.

Where Did Texas A&M International University Go Wrong?

Where was Prof. Young’s due process? He makes a plausible case that he followed the rules. This was his first time teaching a college course and this incident could be used as a learning opportunity for Prof. Young and for the department to tighten up the due process rules so that such mistakes are not made in the future.  The university could make a FERPA rule banning the publication of student’s grades on an unauthorized web site for example. The university can also make the punishments for academic misconduct more clear or create a system for dealing with it as IUSB has.

In either case, I am convinced that Prof. Young meant well and had the best of intentions with his actions and he should not have been fired. Prof. Young has been very vigilant at commenting on this story where ever it appears so do not be surprised if we hear from him.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Other Links | 1 Comment »